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Offshore wind power project awarded $1.2 million from DOE

Posted on Nov 10, 2011
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University Park, Pa. — Penn State has been awarded $1.2 million from the Department of Energy for a project on offshore wind power.

The project's goal is to develop a computational Cyber Wind Facility (CWF) that will provide wind energy researchers the capability to collect data that cannot be gathered from a field wind turbine facility, which has limited data collection capabilities.

Using petascale computer systems and high-performance computing, the proposed CWF will generate four-dimensional data over the entire wind turbine domain in a controlled cyber environment. The CWF includes wave impacts on offshore wind turbines and elastic deformations of the blade and tower. This data will impact the wind turbine design and wind energy design tools to allay damage and increase reliability and efficiency.

The project is a collaborative effort among Penn State researchers James Brasseur, principal investigator and professor of mechanical engineering, bioengineering and mathematics; and co-investigators Eric Paterson, chief scientist at the Applied Research Laboratory and professor of mechanical engineering; Sven Schmitz, assistant professor of aerospace engineering; and Robert Campbell, research associate at the Applied Research Laboratory.

Additional collaborations include Sue Haupt at the National Center for Atmospheric Research to incorporate weather prediction models into the CWF and a team at GE Global Research who will work with Penn State to exercise the software for industry.

The Department of Energy awarded a total of $43 million to 41 separate offshore wind power projects to speed technical innovations, lower costs and shorten the timeline for deploying offshore wind energy systems.