Wind Energy News

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Wind Energy Information. From offshore wind turbines to understanding wind turbulence, learn all about using the wind to our advantage. Also, wind testing buildings.
Updated: 1 hour 39 min ago

Wind turbine movement can generate lightning

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 8:47am
Under favorable atmospheric conditions any elevated structure can generate upward lightning flashes. Even aircraft can do so —- in fact, height and movement are two of the factors that contribute to this phenomenon. The tips of wind turbine blades move at speeds of several tens of meters per second. However, no one had previously demonstrated the relationship between this movement and the triggering of electrical discharges.

Wind tunnel tests support improved aerodynamic design of B61-12 bomb

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:38pm
Sandia National Laboratories has finished eight days of testing a full-scale mock unit representing the aerodynamic characteristics of the B61-12 gravity bomb in a wind tunnel. The tests on the mock-up were done to establish the configuration that will deliver the necessary spin motion of the bomb during freefall and are an important milestone in the Life Extension Program to deliver a new version of the aging system, the B61-12.

A bird? A plane? Or both? Bio-inspired unmanned aircraft capable of soaring like birds

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 8:03am
Researchers are developing a bio-inspired unmanned aircraft capable of soaring like birds, boosting energy efficiency and endurance. The research team is aiming to be the first in the world to demonstrate an autonomous unmanned aircraft that can mimic birds by using updrafts around buildings to stay airborne.

Americans using more energy, according to new analysis

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 12:39pm
Americans used more renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy in 2013, according to the most recent energy flow charts. Wind energy continued to grow strongly, increasing 18 percent from 1.36 quadrillion BTUs, or quads, in 2012 to 1.6 quads in 2013. New wind farms continue to come on line with bigger, more efficient turbines. Most new wind turbines can generate 2 to 2.5 megawatts of power.

Understanding the physics of turbulent flows inside turbines

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 8:52am
Researchers are aiming to shed new light into the physics of turbulent flows inside the turbines of aero-engines. The aerodynamics of the turbine blades affects the efficiency of the engine, while the heat transfer from the extremely hot gas to the turbine blades is harmful to the life-span of the turbine. To determine the effects of turbulence and flow unsteadiness on the aerodynamics and the heat transfer from the gas to the metal blade, it is necessary to understand all the temporal and spatial scales in the flow.

Wind energy: New insight into best arrangement of wind turbines on large installations

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 10:19am
Researchers have developed a new way to study wake effects that includes the airflow both within and around a wind farm and challenges the conventional belief that turbines arrayed in checker board patterns produce the highest power output. Their study provides insight into factors that determine the most favorable positioning.

Managing renewable energy intelligently

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 8:48am
Although more and more of our electrical energy is coming from sources where supply is variable – whether from wind turbines, solar parks or biomass facilities – grid structures, industry and private households alike are not yet prepared to deal with the inevitable fluctuations. Smart energy management systems are the way to put robust supply networks in place and to ensure that renewables are harnessed as efficiently as possible.

Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 1:08pm
Researchers have found that the wind industry can easily afford the energetic cost of building batteries and other grid-scale storage technologies. However, for the solar industry, scientists found that more work is needed to make grid-scale storage energetically sustainable.

A new algorithm improves the efficiency of small wind turbines

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 8:34am
In recent years, mini wind energy has been developing in a spectacular way. However, level of efficiency of small wind turbines is low. To address this problem, scientists have developed an adaptative algorithm. The improvements that are applied to the control of these turbines will in fact contribute towards making them more efficient.

Making it easier to plan offshore wind farms: New tool to help development

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 8:06am
When planning an offshore wind farm, it is important to consider the wind, waves and the seabed at the location where the turbines will stand. Researchers have now developed a dedicated tool that gives a combined overview of all the challenges that need to be considered by developers.

Smart grid for electric vehicle fleet

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 8:46am
Being able to charge up to 30 electric cars at once requires some ingenious energy management. Researchers are incorporating a mix of renewables into the design of a smart grid for Germany’s largest charging station.

What makes flying snakes such gifted gliders?

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 11:31am
They slither, they hiss, they… fly? Don’t let their wingless bodies fool you —- some snakes can glide as far as 100 feet through the air, jumping off tree branches and rotating their ribs to flatten their bodies and move from side to side. New research investigates the workings behind the flight and whether they can be applied to mechanical issues.

Offshore wind farms could tame hurricanes before they reach land

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 7:50am
Computer simulations have shown that offshore wind farms with thousands of wind turbines could have sapped the power of three real-life hurricanes, significantly decreasing their winds and accompanying storm surge, and possibly preventing billions of dollars in damages. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, the computer model revealed that an array of 78,000 wind turbines off the coast of New Orleans would have significantly weakened the hurricane well before it made landfall.

Claims that aging wind farms are a bad investment blown away by new research

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 8:51pm
There has been some debate about whether wind turbines have a more limited shelf-life than other energy technologies. A previous study used a statistical model to estimate that electricity output from wind turbines declines by a third after only ten years of operation. Some opponents of wind power have argued that aging turbine technology could need replacing en masse after as little as ten years, which would make it an unattractive option in economic terms. In a new study, researchers carried out an analysis using local wind speed data from NASA, and showed that the turbines will last their full life of about 25 years before they need to be upgraded.

Icing wind tunnel blows cold and hard to study ice on wings, turbine blades

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 9:31am
Engineers have refurbished an icing wind tunnel and are using it to study ice buildup on aircraft wings and wind turbine blades. A better understanding of the icing problems could lead to better solutions.

Are wind farms changing Europe's climate?

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 12:18pm
The development of wind farms in Europe only has an extremely limited impact on the climate at the continental scale, and this will remain true until at least 2020. These are the main conclusions of a new study.

Measuring wind turbines remotely using new information technology

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 8:31am
The rotor and mast of a wind turbine can oscillate even in normal operation. The analysis of these oscillations plays an important role when the equipment is being developed and maintained. Up to now, this analysis has only been possible at discrete points located directly on equipment. Researchers have now demonstrated that using modern information technology to remotely measure the oscillatory pattern over the entire structure of the facility is possible from several hundred meters away.

Wind farms to flash, warning aircraft, only when necessary

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 8:31am
They can be seen from afar -- the blinking beacons on wind turbines -- intended to warn approaching aircraft at night. However, the continual blinking disturbs many people. Beacons that only switch on when necessary find more acceptance.

Active power control of wind turbines can improve power grid reliability

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 12:46pm
Scientists have completed a comprehensive study to understand how wind power technology can assist the power grid by controlling the active power output being placed onto the system. The rest of the power system's resources have traditionally been adjusted around wind to support a reliable and efficient system. The research that led to this report challenges that concept.

Technology uses micro-windmills to recharge cell phones

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 7:43am
Electrical engineers have designed a micro-windmill that generates wind energy and may become an innovative solution to cell phone batteries constantly in need of recharging and home energy generation where large windmills are not preferred.