Sandia National Laboratories has announced that it is moving its wind energy test facility from New Mexico to a new location near the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
Sandia, Texas Tech and Group NIRE are pursuing a three-way research agreement under which the facility will operate. The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind & Water Power program is funding Sandia's work.
Experimental work in turbine-to-turbine interactions and evaluation of rotor technologies will take place at the site. Aero-acoustics, aero-elasticity and structural health monitoring using embedded sensor systems will also be studied at the facility, according to Sandia.
‘We don't have a great deal of clarity about how wind turbines interact with each other,’ says Jon White, Sandia project lead. ‘Once you understand that, you can better optimize performance for an entire wind farm rather than just focusing on optimizing individual turbines.’
Researchers will also continue work on the structural mechanical adaptive rotor technology program at the site, which will include the initial installation of two wind turbines and three anemometer towers, with the potential to expand to nine or more turbines.
Work at the Lubbock facility is expected to begin in the fall.