Texas Tech Receives $1.4 Million from Department of Energy for Wind Research
The U.S. Department of Energy has granted $1.4 million to researchers at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas to develop radar technology that will help provide better measurements of the complex flow conditions present in wind plants. This is an important project, as it’s a big step in the direction of more efficient wind plants.
“This project is a testament to our researchers’ commitment to better understand and harness wind energy, and to enhance the methods this technology could have on society,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said.
The research is being conducted by the same team that pioneered the use of radar for wind farms several years ago. Now, they’re focusing on developing a new prototype that would allow for greater availability of data and allow for semi-autonomous operations of plants. Data maximization and utilization, as noted very frequently as of late, will play a large part in the future growth of renewable energy.
In wind’s case, data about wind flow conditions in a wind plant would allow for proactive measures to be taken to maximize the plant’s efficiency, ensuring it harnesses the most power possible.
According to John Schroeder, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas Tech, this is absolutely vital to the growth of the wind industry, as in the end, it will ultimately help cut costs.
“Wind farms are not putting out as much power as we would expect from them,” he said. “With a better understanding of how turbines interact with each other, we may be able to make small adjustments that could be worth millions of dollars.”
Schroeder believes that the biggest potential use for their research would be to upgrade existing wind farms. Also, the data could be used to better deploy turbines, ensuring they’re operating as their maximum capacity from the day they’re deployed.
The research is expected to last for 18 months.
“Our goal is to finish the blueprint for commercialization of this technology, and place it in the hands of users in the industry,” Schroeder said. “If successful, it wouldn’t take long to have a positive impact on lowering the cost of wind energy.”
UK must stop blundering into high carbon choices warns CCC
- Statutory framework for climate The UK has a strong climate framework under the Climate Change Act (2008), with legally-binding emissions targets, a process to integrate climate risks into policy, and a central role for independent evidence-based advice and monitoring. This model has inspired similarclimate legislation across the world.
- Emissions targets The UK has adopted ambitious territorial emissions targets aligned to the Paris Agreement: the Sixth Carbon Budget requires an emissions reduction of 63% from 2019 to 2035, on the way to Net Zero by 2050. These are comprehensive targets covering all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including international aviation and shipping.
- Emissions reduction The UK has a leading record in reducing its own emissions: down by 40% from 1990 to 2019, the largest reduction in the G20, while growing the economy (GDP increased by 78% from 1990 to 2019). The rate of reductions since 2012 (of around 20 MtCO2e annually) is comparable to that needed in the future.
- Climate Risk and Adaptation The UK has undertaken three comprehensive assessments of the climate risks it faces, and the Government has published plans for adapting to those risks. There have been some actions in response, notably in tackling flooding and water scarcity, but overall progress in planning and delivering adaptation is not keeping up with increasing risk. The UK is less prepared for the changing climate now than it was when the previous risk assessment was published five years ago.