The event featured speakers from the DOE’s Wind Program, Vestas Wind Systems, Sandia and Texas Tech.
Photo by Lloyd Wilson
A turbine at the newly-commissioned SWiFT facility
“The Energy Department’s wind testing facilities, including the Scaled Wind Farm Technology site in Texas, support the continued growth of our nation’s clean energy economy while helping to speed the deployment of next generation energy technologies and bring more clean, affordable renewable power to American homes and businesses,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson.
Jon White of Sandia’s Wind Energy Technologies Department, technical lead for the project, said SWiFT is the first moderate-scale facility — allowing up to 10 wind turbines — specifically designed to investigate, test and develop technology for wind plants.
“Some estimates show that 10 to 40 percent of wind energy production and revenue is lost due to complex wind plant interaction,” said White.
White said the SWiFT facility allows for rapid, cost-efficient testing and development of transformative wind energy technology, with specific emphasis on improving wind plant performance. The facility’s advanced testing and monitoring will help researchers evaluate how larger wind farms can become more productive.
SWiFT will host both open-source and proprietary research as the result of a partnership among Sandia, Vestas, Texas Tech’s National Wind Institute at Reese Technology Center and Group NIRE, a renewable energy development company.
White said the three-year process to develop the facility has been rewarding and challenging.
“It has been a phenomenal experience to work with a diverse team to complete the often under-appreciated process of turbine construction. We also had a 1980s-era, smaller turbine rebuilt to perform like a much larger machine,” White said.
“The project was a complete green-field construction so there was tremendous complexity in scheduling and managing all of the agreements and contracts to access to the facility, verify there wouldn’t be an adverse environmental impact, procure the equipment, and contract numerous specialized labor resources. We succeeded primarily because we have a dedicated and competent team and a steadfast DOE customer,” White said.
Researchers have begun planning the site’s first research projects.
White said the two primary research projects for the next year will be testing and evaluating Sandia’s new National Rotor Testbed Project and collecting baseline data for turbine-turbine interaction that can be used by the international community to improve wind plant performance.
The National Rotor Testbed Project will provide a public, open-source complete rotor design that the wind energy community can work on collaboratively to bring the best technology to market as rapidly and cost-efficiently as possible, White said.
Funding for the work comes from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
View the Media kit, see a time-lapse video of construction, and visit the Wind Energy Flickr set.
For more information on SWiFT, see previous news releases or visit the SWIFT website.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
Stephanie Holinka | Newswise
In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer
19.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung
System draws power from daily temperature swings
16.02.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences