Wind Energy Research Group

Projects

The Wind Energy Research Group is currently working on projects for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and industry partners.
 
NSF - SEP: Collaborative - Achieving a Sustainable Energy Pathway for Wind Turbine Blade Manufacturing
 
In a collaboration with Wichita State University, faculty in the group are researching new resins that will make future wind turbine blades more sustainable.
 
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center - Fostering Growth in Wind Energy
 
Mass CEC provided a grant to support the growth of wind energy in Massachusetts. As part of this grant, UMass Lowell is expanding its research in wind energy and supporting collaborative research between our faculty and students and the Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, MA.
 
NSF - Industry/University Cooperative Research Center - WindSTAR
 
In a collaboration with UT Dallas, Iowa State University, and Texas A&M, faculty completed executed a planning grant to form an I/UCRC for Wind Energy Science, Technology, and Research (WindSTAR). 
 
DOE/NREL National Collegiate Wind Competition
 
UMass Lowell was awarded a grant to be one of 10 participants in the Natioanl Collegiate Wind Competition being held in 2014. The team is working on a deployable, portable, bio-inspired wind turbine concept.
 
DOE ARRA Program
Recently, faculty in the group completed a project funded by the Department of Energy ARRA program (Award No. DE-EE0001374). This work, entitled Effect of Manufacturing-Induced Defects on Reliability of Composite Wind Turbine Blades, supported DOE's efforts on developing "affordable, reliable domestic wind power" and brought together a strong, complementary team from academia (University of Massachusetts Lowell), two DOE laboratories (NREL and Sandia), and a major wind turbine blade manufacturer (TPI) to address one of the key issues affecting wind power cost and reliability - manufacturing-induced defects in the blades. The complexity of this problem required the assembled team's expertise in materials - specifically textile and composite structures - finite element modeling, composites manufacturing, mechanical characterization, structural dynamics, nondestructive inspection (NDI) and structural health monitoring (SHM), sensors, and wind turbine blade testing. The significant results from this project are documented in a final report (see below).
  • Project Summary
  • Appendix A: Fabric Characterization
  • Appendix B: Simulation of the Blade Manufacturing Process
  • Appendix C: Effects of Wave Defects
  • Appendix D: Coupon Testing
  • Appendix E: Digital Image Correlation Effects
  • Appendix F: Laboratory Fatigue Testing of the 9-meter UML Defect Wind Turbine Blade (NREL report, August 2012)
  • Appendix G: Acoustic Emission Monitoring of a Fatigue Test of the UMass Experimental Wind Turbine Blade (Sandia report)
  • Appendix H: Defect detection during manufacture of composite wind turbine blade with embedded fiber optic distributed strain sensor (Luna Innovations - fiber optic sensors: SAMPE Fall 2011 paper)
  • Appendix I: Embedded and surface mounted fiber optic sensors detect manufacturing defects and accumulated damage as a wind turbine blade is cycled to failure (Luna Innovations - fiber optic sensors: SAMPE Spring 2012 paper)
  • Appendix J: NWTC/University of Mass 9M known defect Blade fatigue loading to failure test: 2011 NASA KSC PZT Health Monitoring System Data DOE Executive Summary- Effects of Defects Department of Mechanical Engineering UML Report # S51900000011598 7 University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Appendix K: Impact Testing of CX-100 Wind Turbine Blades (MODAL DATA) MACL Report # L111625 dated 16 June 2011
  • Appendix L: Impact Testing of CX-100 Wind Turbine Blade without Saddle SDASL Report # L111625-1 dated 17 February 2012
  • Appendix M: Impact Testing of CX-100 Wind Turbine Blade with Saddle SDASL Report # L111625-2 dated 17 February 2012