A new wind research facility that will enhance the study of wind turbulence, advanced energy capture and wind farm performance has broken ground on the campus of Texas Tech University, located in Lubbock, Texas.
The Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWIFT) facility – a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Texas Tech University Sandia National Laboratories and Vestas – is scheduled for completion in the fall.
According to Sandia, the objective of the facility will be to monitor wind farm performance and has space for up to 10 turbines, allowing researchers to examine how larger projects can become more productive and collaborative. The facility will also help turbine designers and manufacturers reduce the aerodynamic losses of wind energy, enhance energy capture and mitigate turbine damage.
Initially, the site will be equipped with two research-scale wind turbines provided by the DOE and by the research and development division of Vestas Technology, located in Houston.
The research center received a $2.6 million investment from the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.