A new design for gigantic blades longer than two football fields could help bring offshore 50-megawatt (MW) wind turbines to the United States and the world.
Sandia National Laboratories’ research on the extreme-scale Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotor (SUMR) is funded by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program. The challenge: Design a low-cost offshore 50-MW turbine requiring a rotor blade more than 650 feet (200 meters) long, two and a half times longer than any existing wind blade.
The team is led by the University of Virginiaand includes Sandia and researchers from the University of Illinois, the University of Colorado, the Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Corporate advisory partners include Dominion Resources, General Electric Co., Siemens AG and Vestas Wind Systems.
“Exascale turbines take advantage of economies of scale,” said Todd Griffith, lead blade designer on the project and technical lead for Sandia’s Offshore Wind Energy Program.
Sandia’s previous work on 13-MW systems uses 100-meter blades (328 feet) on which the initial SUMR designs are based. While a 50-MW horizontal wind turbine is well beyond the size of any current design, studies show that load alignment can dramatically reduce peak stresses and fatigue on the rotor blades. This reduces costs and allows construction of blades big enough for a 50-MW system.
Most current U.S. wind turbines produce power in the 1- to 2-MW range, with blades about 165 feet (50 meters) long, while the largest commercially available turbine is rated at 8 MW with blades 262 feet (80 meters) long.
“The U.S. has great offshore wind energy potential, but offshore installations are expensive, so larger turbines are needed to capture that energy at an affordable cost,” Griffith said.
Barriers remain before designers can scale up to a 50-MW turbine — more than six times the power output of the largest current turbines.
“Conventional upwind blades are expensive to manufacture, deploy and maintain beyond 10-15 MW. They must be stiff, to avoid fatigue and eliminate the risk of tower strikes in strong gusts. Those stiff blades are heavy, and their mass, which is directly related to cost, becomes even more problematic at the extreme scale due to gravity loads and other changes,” Griffith said.
He said the new blades could be more easily and cost-effectively manufactured in segments, avoiding the unprecedented-scale equipment needed for transport and assembly of blades built as single units.
The exascale turbines would be sited downwind, unlike conventional turbines that are configured with the rotor blades upwind of the tower.
SUMR’s load-alignment is bio-inspired by the way palm trees move in storms. The lightweight, segmented trunk approximates a series of cylindrical shells that bend in the wind while retaining segment stiffness. This alignment radically reduces the mass required for blade stiffening by reducing the forces on the blades using the palm-tree inspired load-alignment approach.
Segmented turbine blades have a significant advantage in parts of the world at risk for severe storms, such as hurricanes, where offshore turbines must withstand tremendous wind speeds over 200 mph. The blades align themselves to reduce cantilever forces on the blade through a trunnion hinge near the hub that responds to changes in wind speed.
“At dangerous wind speeds, the blades are stowed and aligned with the wind direction, reducing the risk of damage. At lower wind speeds, the blades spread out more to maximize energy production.” Griffith said.
The Latest on: Exascale wind turbines
via Google News
The Latest on: Exascale wind turbines
- Podcast: How Exascale Computing Could Help Boost Energy Productionon July 19, 2019 at 9:40 am
the unprecedented calculations expected at the exascale, the example of taking wind energy simulations much further, and the movement toward the use of more-general-purpose programming tools. The ... […]
- Intel and the Department of Energy are building America's first exascale supercomputer, a computer capable of a quintillion calculations per secondon March 18, 2019 at 10:30 pm
Intel and the US Department of Energy said Aurora would be the US’s first exascale supercomputer ... setting them off or endangering people – or design better batteries, wind-power systems, or nuclear ... […]
- America’s first exascale supercomputer to be built by 2021on March 18, 2019 at 12:47 pm
“We will use exascale computing and AI to accelerate discovery ... the building of better battery materials and materials useful for alternative energy like solar, wind, and nuclear power — and ... […]
- Intel and Energy Department Plan Exascale Aurora Supercomputer by 2021on March 18, 2019 at 12:13 pm
Exascale has been the supercomputing industry’s Holy ... and developing more efficient wind and nuclear power, Stevens said. On the health front, researchers will work with the National Institutes of ... […]
- Energy Aims to Launch America’s First Exascale Supercomputer by 2021on March 18, 2019 at 11:30 am
“Achieving exascale is imperative, not only to better the scientific ... The machine will also improve wind turbine efficiency and experts’ ability to predict climate at a regional scale. “The 60,000 ... […]
- Exascale: No. 1 priority for DOE Science Officeon February 1, 2018 at 2:49 pm
So being able to simulate 40 to 50 wind turbines” and combine that with other data like the effects of local weather and geography “could potentially allow wind farms to be more efficient.” Exascale ... […]
- EU, Brazil Energy Interests Position for Exascaleon January 25, 2018 at 3:39 pm
The project holds that the “use of new exascale architectures and the corresponding advances in codes to fully exploit new chip capabilities will help address challenges for combustion technologies, ... […]
- HPC4E Project Outlines Case for Exascale Computing in Energy Sectoron January 23, 2018 at 9:00 am
While such a model can be used to reveal much more detailed subsurface imaging, and thus provide much better certainty related to drilling, the physics involved requires exascale-level performance. ... […]
- Nations Race to Build a Computer With the Power to Predict the Futureon September 20, 2017 at 11:29 am
... have sufficient computing power to model even complex biological systems with enough precision to make massive logistical endeavors feasible. The DOE’s exascale initiative includes a project to ... […]
- The Race to Build a Computer Powerful Enough to Predict the Futureon September 18, 2017 at 4:17 am
As part of the Department of Energy’s larger exascale project, the NREL is working to build predictive wind energy models that can work on an exascale-level machine by 2022. Stronger computers mean a ... […]
via Bing News