U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday announced new ARRA funding for three university-led wind energy research facilities that will help test and produce advanced land-based and offshore wind turbines. The three competitively selected, university-led projects will include partners from private industry, state and local governments, and other universities. The projects are:
- Illinois Institute of Technology at Chicago -- The Institute will use this funding to install a test turbine, a GE 1.5 MW turbine, at an existing wind project owned by a consortium partner at Marseilles, Illinois. The university consortium's research and development plan includes advanced concepts for rotor control and drive train control, robust sensors for blades and improved aero elastic models to improve wind turbine performance and reliability.
- University of Maine at Orono -- The University of Maine plans to design and deploy two 10 kW and one 100 kW floating offshore turbine prototypes. Two turbines will be located at the University of Maine's Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site that will be located in a pre-selected site in state waters and one turbine will be operated at an offshore test site in the Isle of Shoals by the University of New Hampshire.
- University of Minnesota at Minneapolis -- The University plans to install a new Siemens 2.3 MW turbine research facility at the University of Minnesota Outreach Research and Education (UMore) Park in Rosemount, Minnesota to study novel mechanical power transmission and electric generator systems. The University consortium's research and development plan includes active and passive flow control strategies to increase energy capture, broaden the operational envelope of the turbine, and reduce structural loads and fatigue. The University of Minnesota's turbine will be in close proximity to an existing wind farm, providing an opportunity to further validate and reinforce research findings regarding turbine wake interaction, wind farm interaction, and wind energy efficiencies.
For more information about the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program, visit the Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program Web site.