The project measures complex flow fields to make more intelligent wind farms.
Texas Tech University scientists have brought the wind power industry one step closer to its potential with the creation of a system to measure wind flow and control turbine-to-turbine interaction for maximum power generation.
National Wind Institute (NWI) faculty affiliate John Schroeder and research professors Brian Hirth and Jerry Guynes have brought the measurement system online at the NWI field site. Funded by a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the system is designed to make relevant measurements of complex flow fields in the lower atmosphere. In particular, the new system is designed to measure intra- and inter-wind plant flow fields.
“Understanding the complex flow field in the lower atmosphere is foundational information required to make more intelligent wind plants,” said Schroeder, a professor in atmospheric science. “A wind turbine interacts with the flow field, creating a wake. As that wake translates downstream it impacts other wind turbines. Right now this technology is the best tool available to understand how the wind turbines/plants modulate the flow field and impact each other. Hence, this technology can provide information to help increase the performance of wind plants and essentially lower the cost of energy.”
The new instrument builds upon NWI’s pioneering success of using radar measurements to document complex wind flow fields within wind plants. Originally, the project team used the existing Texas Tech Ka-band (TTUKa) mobile Doppler radars to make these measurements. While successful, the TTUKa radars were limited in their ability to provide useful data in some atmospheric conditions. The objective of the new project is to translate the developed techniques to a new transformative instrument, which could be used in a wider variety of atmospheric conditions.
Texas Tech University, often referred to as Texas Tech, or TTU, is a public research university in Lubbock, Texas, United States.
Established on February 10, 1923, and originally known as Texas Technological College, it is the leading institution of the four-institution Texas Tech University System. The university’s student enrollment is the sixth-largest in the state of Texas, as of the Fall 2014 semester. The university shares its campus with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, making it the only campus in Texas to house an undergraduate university, law school, and medical school at the same location.
The university offers degrees in more than 150 courses of study through 13 colleges and hosts 60 research centers and institutes. Texas Tech University has awarded over 200,000 degrees since 1927, including over 40,000 graduate and professional degrees. The Carnegie Foundation classifies Texas Tech as having “high research activity”. Research projects in the areas of epidemiology, pulsed power, grid computing, nanophotonics, atmospheric sciences, and wind energy are among the most prominent at the university. The Spanish Renaissance-themed campus, described by author James Michener as “the most beautiful west of the Mississippi until you get to Stanford”, has been awarded the Grand Award for excellence in grounds-keeping, and has been noted for possessing a public art collection among the ten best in the United States.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are charter members of the Big 12 Conference and compete in Division I for all varsity sports. The Red Raiders football team has made 36 bowl appearances, which is 17th most of any university. The Red Raiders basketball team has made 14 appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament. Bob Knight, the second-winningest coach in men’s NCAA Division I basketball history, served as the team’s head coach from 2001 to 2008. The Lady Raiders basketball team won the 1993 NCAA Division I Tournament. In 1999, Texas Tech’s Goin’ Band from Raiderland received the Sudler Trophy, which is awarded to “recognize collegiate marching bands of particular excellence”.
Though the majority of the university’s students originate in the southwestern United States, the school has served students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. Texas Tech University alumni and former students have gone on to prominent careers in government, business, science, medicine, education, sports, and entertainment.