Symposium to Explore Wind Industry Challenges, Partnerships

Wind energy leaders from around the world will gather on campus March 28-29.

Speakers at the symposium include Jose Zayas, program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Program.

Speakers at the symposium include Jose Zayas, program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Program.

Wind energy leaders from around the world will gather on the Texas Tech campus March 28-29 to discuss scientific and technological breakthroughs in wind energy.

The symposium, “Wind Farm Underperformance and Partnerships” will allow leaders in the field to not only address issues relevant to wind farm underperformance but also will provide the opportunity to explore partnerships between academia, industry and national laboratories to help achieve 20 percent of the nation’s energy from wind energy by 2030.

Luciano Castillo, the National Wind Resource Center executive director and Don-Kay-Clay Cash Distinguished Engineering Chair in Wind Energy at Texas Tech, points to the importance of partnerships in developing new strategies to increase wind farm performance, which he says will reduce energy costs and help grow the nation’s economy.

“No one entity can solve all of the challenges facing the wind industry,” said Castillo. “There is an opportunity to create synergies between private industry, national laboratories and academia that could help us solve the multiple issues facing the wind industry while training the future STEM workforce in areas critical to our national security.”

Speakers at the symposium include Jose Zayas, program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Program along with experts from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Sandia National Laboratories, and representatives from Germany, Scotland, Belgium and across the United States.

The technical part of the conference deals with how to improve the performance of wind farms from various perspectives: single blade, single turbine all the way to the grid while providing breakthroughs on wind resource assessment, predictions and wake-wake interaction. Wind turbine designs are meant to work in a steady wind flow, but the reality is that the wind flow is highly intermittent and turbulent, Castillo said.

“A single turbine will perform one way, but when you put dozens of them together in a wind farm array, the way they interact with each other, the atmospheric boundary layer and eventually with the grid is not well understood,” said Castillo. “For example, the gear box components are designed to last 20 years, but we are seeing that they breakdown in five to seven years which results in high cost of energy. Research into how turbine arrays work from a single system (blade to turbine) to entire systems or arrays is needed to better improve performance.” This is what this team of experts from engineering, economics, and science bring to this unique symposium.


National Wind Institute

 

National Wind Institute (NWI) is world-renowned for conducting innovative research in the areas of wind energy, wind hazard mitigation, wind-induced damage, severe storms and wind-related economics.

NWI is also home to world-class researchers with expertise in numerous academic fields such as atmospheric science, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, mathematics and economics, and NWI was the first in the nation to offer a doctorate in Wind Science and Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy.


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