Wind energy giant Gamesa Technology Corp., Inc., announced it is joining forces with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to study and test a variety of wind energy components and systems and guide the development of future wind turbines designed specifically for the U.S. marketplace.
Set to begin this month, the core provisions of the public-private partnership will run through 2013, with options for two additional years of collaboration. “This research project will examine every aspect of the turbine, from its base to the blade tip at its apex, along with all the parts that make it turn,” says Dr. Miguel Angel Gonzalez-Posada, VP of Technology for Gamesa North America.
In a press release posted by Gamesa, the chief goal of the research-and-development project is a sharp focus on interior and exterior components as well as the rotors themselves. The company states that researchers will examine how bigger rotors, as well as blade aerodynamics and some other features, can be altered to maximize annual energy production. They will also design and test new lightning protection and other turbine conditioning systems, examining turbine performances in a range of temperatures at high altitude to ensure functionality in any U.S. environment. Turbine tests will measure and validate the outcome of the research, looking at power performance, power quality and acoustics to minimize noise levels.
The group also stated that new converter technologies will be used to test ways to increase energy output while enhancing component reliability. Extensive tests also will be conducted on other turbine key components, examining motion, temperatures, stresses and vibration levels, where the findings could lead to improvements that enhance the reliability of future U.S. installations.