Design for 50MW Offshore Wind Turbine

Posted On April 16th, 2018 - 2:43 pm | by Oil and gas press

A team of researchers is working to complete the design for a novel 50-megawatt offshore wind turbine, nearly six times more powerful than a record-setting 8.8-megawatt turbine recently deployed off the coast of Scotland. Testing will begin on prototype blades this summer in Colorado.

The massive turbine marks an about-face from conventional wind turbine design. The standard wind turbine installed today is a three-bladed machine positioned with the blades facing incoming winds.

The blades for the so-called Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotor (SUMR) wind turbine would, conversely, face downwind. The “go-with-the-flow” design was inspired by palm trees, which have evolved to withstand hurricane gales.

Just as palm fronds bend and yield to the direction of the wind, the segmented blades for the SUMR turbine will fold together, aligned with the wind direction, in strong winds.

“We’re trying to have the turbine blades be more aligned along the load path, so we can get away with lower structural mass and have less fatigue and less damage,” said Eric Loth in an interview. Loth is chair of the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Virginia and the SUMR project lead.

The research team believes the downwind design will make it possible to deploy extreme-scale offshore wind turbines in parts of the United States, such as the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, where wind speeds can reach 200 mph during severe storms.

Source / More: .greentechmedia

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