UMaine gets funding for floating wind R&D

Source: University of Maine (UMaine)

September 25 (Renewables Now) - The University of Maine (UMaine) Advanced Structures and Composites Center has won close to USD 1.4 million (EUR 1.27m) in funds to design an ultra-lightweight, corrosion-resistant, concrete floating offshore wind turbine.

The UMaine Composites Center won this award as part of the energy department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) programme. Using the funds, it will work on a turbine design that adapts a NASA motion mitigation technology to counteract floating turbine motions. This will result in lighter platforms, improved turbine performance and a reduced levelised cost of energy (LCOE), UMaine explains.

“With this funding, we plan to further stabilize our floating wind turbine hull technology in extreme storms by integrating NASA rocket vibration suppression technology into the design. This will help lighten the hull and further decrease our already very low electricity costs,” said Habib Dagher, executive director of the UMaine Composites Center.

Furthermore, the UMaine Composites Center will collaborate with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on an ARPA-E award of about USD 1.53 million to validate new and improved designs for floating offshore wind. The pair will work on the Floating Offshore-wind and Controls Advanced Laboratory (FOCAL) experimental programme, whose objective is to produce the first public floating turbine scale-model dataset that features advanced turbine controls, floating hull load mitigation technology and hull flexibility.

For this purpose, experimental campaigns will be held in the UMaine Harold Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Laboratory, utilising four 1:60-scale turbines. These experiments will help validate new capabilities for current turbine numerical tools needed to adequately capture advanced designs based upon control co-design methods.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.910)

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