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NWTC Wind Researcher’s Article Named in “Top 25” List by ScienceDirect

October 11, 2013

Photo of Yi Guo on top of a wind turbine.

Yi Guo, a post-doctoral researcher at the NWTC, takes in the view from the top of a turbine—and shows that her research is top-notch with an article named as one of the "Top 25 Hottest Articles" for 2012 by ScienceDirect.
Photo courtesy of Yi Guo, NREL

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) post-doctoral researchers have a reputation for doing some incredible, high-caliber work. One name in particular has been circulating around the research world like wildfire: Yi Guo. 

Yi has rapidly been increasing her own and NREL's international reputation for wind turbine drivetrain analysis work, but her latest achievement is for being recognized by the leading full-text online scientific database, Science Direct, as having one of the "Top 25 Hottest Articles" for 2012. Her article, Stiffness Matrix Calculation of Rolling Element Bearings Using a Finite Element/Contact Mechanics Model, which was created during her time at Ohio State University, ranked 6th on the list and originally appeared in the Elsevier Journal for Mechanism and Machine Theory.

"I was honored to receive this award," Yi said. "Being ranked #6 on the hot list from a prestigious journal suggests this paper has attracted great interest from the public—it is very exciting."

Since being notified, Yi said she and her co-authors have also been invited to create a presentation for the paper that will appear on YouTube as well as take part in a "best presentation contest", which she says will be a great way to demonstrate the work to a wider audience and attract interest.

Wind turbine gearbox reliability is viewed by many as the most problematic component in wind turbines today. The U.S. Department of Energy addresses this issue through its Gearbox Reliability Collaborative (GRC), which entails field testing, laboratory testing, and computer simulation of gearboxes. Yi is one of only a handful of researchers in the United States that conducts detailed drivetrain analyses that are used to compare testing results to modeling results.

In her paper, Yi was able to develop a high-fidelity model for rolling element bearings with the focus of obtaining accurate bearing stiffness for a wide range of bearing types and parameters.

"Yi is becoming a rock star researcher at the NWTC after only 2 years at the NWTC as a post-doc," said Paul Veers, NREL's Chief Engineer at the NWTC. "Yi has become the NWTC's core capability in wind turbine gearbox modeling."

"As a result, she is essential to DOE's goal to improve the reliability of wind turbine drivetrains for land-based and offshore applications."

But despite all of the acclaim for her work—most recently, over her paper—Yi said it has been her children's reaction about the award that touched her the most.

"I told my children (6 and 4 years old) about my work being posted on YouTube," she said. "They were wondering if I have become 'Super Girl.'"