SRNL: Wind Turbine Facility to help grow U.S. wind technology

Ralph Nichols, Fellow Engineer with the Savannah River National Laboratory is a member of the NSCWT. Ralph is exploring the possibility for a small wind turbine testing and certification program on the North Strand.  See the original article by clicking here!

SRNL is a primary member of the Clemson University-led team selected by DOE to receive up to $45M under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for a wind energy test facility that will enhance the performance, durability, and reliability of utility-scale wind turbines. This is great news, not just for SRNL and Clemson, but for South Carolina and the nation, and is expected to create hundreds of jobs and place one of the most important sites for wind energy research and development in South Carolina.  In addition to the grant from DOE, the team received $53M in matching funds for the project, which will build and operate a large-scale wind turbine drive train testing facility at the Clemson University Restoration Institute research campus on the former Charleston Navy base.  This investment will support jobs and strengthen American leadership in wind energy technology by supporting the testing of next-generation wind turbine designs.
SRNL’s role, estimated at over $2M over the next two-three years, is to provide direct technical assistance in the design, specification, integration, configuration, and deployment of a high fidelity and custom Data Acquisition System (DAS). The system design will be based upon SRNL’s expertise in high fidelity test and data acquisition systems used for nuclear weapons components stockpile surety testing.  Joe Cordaro of SRNL’s Energy Security and Engineering Directorate will lead SRNL’s participation.
The Large Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing facility will enable the U.S., which leads the world in wind energy capacity, to expand development and testing of large-scale wind turbine drive-train systems domestically. Wind turbine sizes have increased with each new generation of turbines, and have outgrown the capacity of existing U.S. drivetrain testing facilities.  The new testing capability will ultimately improve U.S. competitiveness in wind energy technology, will lower energy costs for consumers, and will maintain rapid growth in the deployment of wind energy systems.
Announcing the selection, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said, “Wind power holds tremendous potential to help create new jobs and reduce carbon pollution.  We are at the beginning of a new Industrial Revolution when it comes to clean energy and projects like these will help us get there faster.”
The primary team on the project includes Clemson University, Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI), Cities of North Charleston and Charleston, Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority, SRNL and the State of South Carolina.  Partners include the Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority; the South Carolina Department of Commerce; the State of South Carolina; South Carolina Public Railways; the South Carolina State Ports Authority; and private partners RENK AG, Tony Bakker and James Meadors.