GRADUATE SEMINAR - "Airborne Wind Energy Systems", by Dr. David J. Olinger, Department of Mechanical Engineering, WPI (WPI Only)
Wednesday, 12/11/2013 2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Salisbury Labs, SL 115 Kinnicutt Hall, Worcester, MA
Airborne wind energy (AWE) systems use tethered kites to extract energy from the wind. AWE systems are being considered as an alternative to wind turbines since the kites can move in high-speed cross-wind motions over large swept areas at higher altitudes (where wind speeds are greater) to increase power production. In this talk the operation and basic theory for ‘GroundGen’ type AWE systems, in which aerodynamic forces on the kite are transferred via kite tethers to a generator (or water pump) on the ground, will be reviewed. An overview of results from an integrated study of AWE systems at WPI will be given including; dynamic modeling of kite-tether systems, kite control studies, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations of kite-tether systems, and development of a working low-cost kite-powered water pump for use in developing nations. A proposed extension of our work on AWE systems, tethered undersea kite systems, which would operate using the same physical principles but in an ocean or tidal current, will also be briefly discussed.
Prof. David J. Olinger has been a member of the Mechanical Engineering faculty at WPI since 1990. His research interests have included fluid-structure interactions problems focused on using nonlinear chaos theory to study vortex-induced vibration, experimental fluid dynamics, and low-speed aerodynamics. More recently he has worked in the area of wind energy focused on both simulation and physical modeling of floating wind turbine systems and on airborne wind energy systems. His teaching interests within the Aerospace Engineering program include aerodynamics, fluid dynamics, aircraft design, and renewable energy.
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