Wind energy is one of the fastest growing forms of renewable energy in the world, and billions of dollars are being put into wind energy research, development, and operations. But there are still some major aspects of wind energy that we don’t understand. Power generated by a wind plant appears to be very sensitive to particular aspects of the inflow. Wind turbines are in some cases not reaching their expected lifetimes. We need to understand these better to improve wind energy as a financially viable, sustainable, safe means of generating power for generations to come.
What is it, and why work on it?
What do we do?
We are engaged in simulations of wind energy at mesoscales (kilometers) and microscales (meters) and the interactions between them. Our research focuses on
- uncertainty quantification to understand the parameters to which generated power is most sensitive and under which conditions
- complex terrain and why wind generation in hilly regions is more difficult to understand than in flat regions
- offshore wind, which is an emerging area of research and is not thoroughly understood