CWRU raises wind-energy labs over Cleveland area

Apr 04, 2012

Case Western Reserve University and its partners have erected their third and largest research wind turbine — and begun the process of tying into the grid.

The 1-megawatt turbine, which will sit 230 feet above William Sopko & Sons Co., near the I-90-Rt. 2 split in Euclid, is a utility-scale power generator. The company is one of the university's industrial partners in wind research and made the property available.

The mid-sized research turbine erected on the same parcel and the smallest, on the Case Western Reserve campus, are already providing power.

After initial studies of their operation, all three will be used as working laboratories available to researchers at non-profit organizations and for-profit companies, eliminating the large expense of having to buy or build their own turbines.

The overall goal is to develop better products, from nuts and bolts on up to new technologies to manage the turbines and improve efficiency and longevity, and thereby establish a wind-energy supply chain in Northeast Ohio.

Researchers can gain access to the turbines through the Wind Energy Research and Commercialization (WERC) Center. The WERC Center is part of the Great Lakes Energy Institute (GLEI) at CWRU.

"By having three different sized , researchers and companies can 'right-size' their efforts, depending on what information the researchers are interested in and what market the companies are developing products for," said David Matthiesen, professor of materials science and engineering at Case Western Reserve and faculty director of the WERC Center.

The three wind turbines also have a variety of technologies in them, Matthiesen explained.

The 100-killowatt turbine has a direct drive system and no gearbox in its drive train. In addition to the swiveling nacelle, which houses the generator, the pitch of the blades can be changed on the 225-kilowatt turbine to control the angle to the wind. The 1-megawatt turbine has additional monitoring features to allow researchers to study how electricity generated by the turbine is integrated into the power grid.

The larger turbines are in Euclid, where they complement the surrounding industry.

The electricity from the 1-megawatt turbine will flow into the adjacent Stamco Industries plant. Inside the plant, mammoth presses generate up to 3,000 tons of pressure as they stamp truck wheel rings and other products out of heavy-gauge steel. Unused power will flow into the grid.

As part of its commissioning tests, the intermediate turbine is already providing power to William Sopko & Sons' light manufacturing business of making adapters, parts and accessories for precision grinders.

The smallest turbine, a community-rated power generator, provides electricity to The Veale Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center. During its first full year of operation, the generated 58,500 KWH or about 5 percent of the total used by the center.

Explore further: Shedding light on solar power

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vestas Announces New 7 megawatt offshore wind turbine

Apr 01, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Vestas Chief Executive Officer Ditlev Engel announced in London their new V164 wind turbine, designed specifically for offshore wind power. Optimized for conditions in the North Sea, Vestas ...

Smart wind turbines can predict the wind

Jan 05, 2010

Risø DTU researchers have recently completed the world’s first successful test on a wind turbine with a laser-based anemometer built into the spinner in order to increase electricity generation.

Wind turbines that learn like humans

Mar 27, 2012

Depending on the weather, wind turbines can face whispering breezes or gale-force gusts. Such variable conditions make extracting the maximum power from the turbines a tricky control problem, but a collaboration of Chinese ...

Powering wind energy with superconductivity

Sep 21, 2011

Energy prices and environmental concerns are driving the United States to rethink its energy mix and to develop domestic sources of clean, renewable energy.

Enhancing the efficiency of wind turbines

Nov 22, 2010

A milestone in the history of renewable energy occurred in the year 2008 when more new wind-turbine power generation capacity was added in the U.S. than new coal-fired power generation. The costs of producing power with wind ...

Noise research to combat 'wind turbine syndrome'

Jun 01, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Adelaide acoustics researchers are investigating the causes of wind turbine noise with the aim of making them quieter and solving 'wind turbine syndrome'.

Recommended for you

Audi to develop Tesla Model S all-electric rival

3 minutes ago

The Tesla Model S has a rival. Audi is to develop all-electric family car. This is to be a family car that will offer an all-electric range of 280 miles (450 kilometers), according to Auto Express, which ...

A green data center with an autonomous power supply

5 hours ago

A new data center in the United States is generating electricity for its servers entirely from renewable sources, converting biogas from a sewage treatment plant into electricity and water. Siemens implemented ...

Can we create an energy efficient Internet?

6 hours ago

With the number of Internet connected devices rapidly increasing, researchers from Melbourne are starting a new research program to reduce energy consumption of such devices.

Shedding light on solar power

Nov 27, 2014

Everyone wants to save energy, but not everyone knows where to start. Grid Resources, a startup based out of the Centre for Urban Energy's iCUE incubator, is developing a new website that seeks to help homeowners ...

Energy transition project moves into its second phase

Nov 27, 2014

Siemens is studying new concepts for optimizing the cost-effectiveness and technical performance of energy systems with distributed and fluctuating electricity production. The associated IRENE research project ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.