17 Apr '18, 8am

Design for 50-MW Offshore Wind Turbine Inspired by Hurricane-Resilient Palm Trees

A team of researchers is working to complete the design for a novel 50-megawatt offshore wind turbine, nearly six times more powerful than a record-setting 8.8-megawatt turbine recently deployed off the coast of Scotland. Testing will begin on prototype blades this summer in Colorado. The massive turbine marks an about-face from conventional wind turbine design. The standard wind turbine installed today is a three-bladed machine positioned with the blades facing incoming winds. The blades for the so-called Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotor (SUMR) wind turbine would, conversely, face downwind. The “go-with-the-flow” design was inspired by palm trees, which have evolved to withstand hurricane gales. Just as palm fronds bend and yield to the direction of the wind, the segmented blades for the SUMR turbine will fold together, aligned with the wind direction, in strong winds....

Full article: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/design-for-5...

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