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Images of particles made from a promising battery cathode material called NMC

Making Large Wind Farms More Productive, Less Expensive

Precourt Institute for Energy

Sanjiva K. Lele, aeronautics and astronautics, and mechanical engineering; John Weyant, management science and engineering

Funded by the TomKat Center with support from PIE

Power output by large wind farms is typically 25 percent less than what it should be due to rear windmills operating in the turbulent wakes of those up front. These wakes also increase strain on the downwind blades and, thus, raise operating costs. This project, funded jointly by the TomKat Center and Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy, will test whether positioning smaller, mixing turbines among the primary turbines in conjunction with other new management approaches, will significantly increase output and cut costs. The researchers will also develop an optimization model for designing new wind farms and operational algorithms based on a given farm’s terrain and environment.