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@NWTC Newsletter

Below is the Summer 2014 issue of the @NWTC newsletter.

Summer 2014 Issue

Project and Program Updates

Models and Tools

Recent Publications

Project and Program Updates

NREL Investigates the Logistics of Transporting and Installing Bigger, Taller Wind Turbines

How do you lift a locomotive higher than the Statue of Liberty, turn a corner hauling a load that is nearly the length of a football field, or take a road trip in a vehicle that is taller than most of the bridges and underpasses? The answers to these questions may not be clear just yet, but a report presented by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the WINDPOWER Conference in Las Vegas in May indicates that the nation's wind industry is working to accomplish feats as challenging as these.

NREL Plays Founding, Developmental Role in Major Wind Journal

In the late 1990s, global wind capacity was just under 8,000 megawatts, compared to well over 100 gigawatts today. Back then, although the wind industry was growing, wind scientists and engineers were not well-connected with each other on a global basis. There was a need for an unbiased, scientific, peer-reviewed publication that offered wind professionals the opportunity to publish their work, learn about each other's research, and exchange ideas.

Boosting Wind Plant Power Output by 4%–5% through Coordinated Turbine Controls

Wind plant underperformance has plagued wind plant developers for years. To address this problem, researchers and wind turbine manufacturers have been focusing on increasing the performance of individual turbines. Although wind turbine performance has been greatly improved and the cost of wind energy has plunged over time, the issue of underperformance in wind plants with multiple turbines persists. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) Simulator Of Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA) is shedding new light on the causes of wind plant underperformance and how, with the use of coordinated wind turbine control, power output can be increased by as much as 4% or 5%.

Models and Tools

WEC-Sim Aims to Bring New Wave Energy Devices to the Surface of an Emerging Industry

From a technology development standpoint, Mike Lawson likens today's wave energy industry to the wind industry in the 1970s or '80s. There are tens—maybe hundreds—of concepts for wave energy converters (WECs) in various stages of development, but no single solution has been established as commercially viable yet.

New 100-Meter Map Keeps Pace with Growing Wind Technology

According to a wind resource assessment published by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009, the United States has a land-based wind energy potential of 10,957 GW at an 80-m wind turbine hub height and 12,771 GW of capacity at 100-m hub heights, assuming a capacity factor of at least 30%. Additionally, an NREL assessment stated that offshore wind energy has a potential of 4,150 GW within 50 nautical miles of shore at a 90-m hub height with wind speeds greater than 7.0 m/s. To develop that potential, the wind industry must first be able to identify the best areas for development.