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Applying NASA

NASA Capabilities
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Collaborate with NASA to Enhance Wind Turbine Technology

NASA’s Ames Research Center invites wind turbine manufacturers, owners, and operators to collaborate on R&D for new technologies to benefit the growing wind energy industry. NASA has much to offer its partners, including world-class wind tunnels, cutting-edge capabilities, and innovative technologies. Collaborative R&D can accelerate progress toward enhanced renewable energy while advancing NASA program goals.



Benefits for Wind Turbines

NASA’s investment in intelligent adaptive control technology, prognostics and health management (PHM), and advanced design tools can be applied to wind turbines to:

  • Enhance turbine performance
  • Reduce costs for operations and maintenance (O&M) by increasing turbine uptime
  • Increase wind energy extraction

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Applying NASA Technology to Wind Turbines

O&M costs constitute a substantial 20% to 25% of a turbine’s total cost per kilowatt hour. Maximizing energy output while reducing unscheduled maintenance and repair can dramatically reduce these costs. NASA innovations, expertise, and facilities make these advances possible.

Improve Performance

  • Enhance energy capture
  • Improve energy output regulation
  • Reduce aerodynamic loads
  • Reduce noise emissions
  • Optimize wind farm operations

Enhance Operations and Maintenance

  • Identify optimal maintenance schedule
  • Detect abnormal conditions in components and identify root cause
  • Estimate component remaining useful life (RUL)
  • Adapt controller to accommodate degraded modes with the objective of continued, possibly reduced, energy capture while avoiding secondary damage or unscheduled maintenance

Increase Efficiency through Optimized Designs

  • Design new blades and rotors
  • Develop controls to minimize noise, improve performance, etc.
  • Identify best sensor placement

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NASA Capabilities

During the course of advancing technologies for space and aeronautics missions, NASA has built significant capabilities at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, that also can be applied to wind turbines.

Intelligent Adaptive Controls

  • Adaptive control for rotating blades
  • Adaptive control of flexible structures
  • Integration of controls with PHM

Prognostics and Health Management

  • Online performance monitoring
  • Advanced diagnostic and prognostic algorithms
  • State-of-the-art usage and placement of sensors
  • Decision support systems
  • Integration with control algorithms

Advanced Design Tools and Facilities

  • Computer-aided design
  • Tools for data collection, modeling, and characterization of operations
  • World-class wind tunnels, including the world’s largest

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Papers and Presentations

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Contact Information

If you would like more information or want to pursue transfer of this technology, please contact us by e-mail or phone:
(919) 249-0327

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