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Designing the World’s Largest Wind Turbines: 50 Megawatt Capacity and Blades Longer Than 200 meters

Friday, November 9, 2018, 2:00 PM
Nedderman Hall 105

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Todd GriffithMechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Seminar

Abstract: A dominant and persistent trend with wind energy technology over the past decades is growth in the size of the rotor and reduced cost of energy. However, continued growth in the size of the rotor is very challenging given numerous competing design constraints that are technical, economic, and logistical. This presentation will first present some early work in design of a series of 100-meter blade designs. More recent work has focused on novel rotor configurations including extreme-scale 50 Megawatt rotor designs and vertical axis wind turbine rotors for floating offshore wind to overcome the technical, economic, and logistical challenges. The presentation will highlight challenges and opportunities in design of these rotor systems with a focus on recent blade & system design, design of sub-scale demonstrator blades, and trends studies of aero-elastic behavior in large blades.

Bio: D. Todd Griffith is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Dallas. His recent research has focused on renewable energy systems, in particular wind energy applications. His research contributions are in the areas of large wind turbine rotor technology development, new concepts, aero-elasticity, and structural health monitoring & prognostics management methods. Prior to joining UT Dallas in 2017, Griffith was a researcher (Principal Member of the Technical Staff) at Sandia National Laboratories in the departments of Wind Energy, Water Power, and Structural Dynamics Research (from 2005-17).

He was the Technical Lead for Sandia’s Offshore Wind Energy Program, which focused on developing new technology for offshore wind systems for the US Department of Energy. Dr. Griffith has served as organizer and technical program chair for many international workshops and conferences including the 2016 and 2018 Science of Making Torque from Wind Conference and the 2014 and 2015 ASME Wind Energy Symposium. He currently chairs the ASME Wind Energy Technical Committee. He is an Associate Fellow of AIAA, recipient of an AIAA Distinguished Service award for leadership in wind energy conference development, presenter of over 25 invited seminars (many international), Guest Scholar of the Erasmus Mundus European Wind Energy Masters (EWEM) program at the Delft University of Technology in 2014, and advisor to more than 25 students while at Sandia National Laboratories. Prior to joining Sandia, he completed Ph.D. work at Texas A&M University in Aerospace Engineering.

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