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The Worlds Largest Wind Turbine? by Dr. Eric Loth
Friday, Nov. 15, 2019
11 a.m. - noon Location: ECSS 2.412


The increased penetration of wind turbines will be more and more driven by the cost of energy, especially in the category of “extreme-scale” wind turbines (≤ 10-MW). A new concept is proposed which employs a downwind rotor with blades aligned by the combination of gravitational, centrifugal, and thrust forces along the blade path. This reduces downwind cantilever loads, resulting in primarily tensile loading. Aeroelastic analysis and unsteady simulations (e.g. at gust and off-design conditions) indicate this concept is feasible and may allow the world's largest wind turbine. The first gravo-aeroealstically scaled wind turbine is set for field testing at the National Wind Technology Center (Boulder, Colorado) to investigate the ultralight aspects of this concept. However, there are many challenges regarding tower shadow, blade segmentation, morphing mechanics and levelized cost of energy reduction for commercial adoption.


Eric Loth is the Rolls Royce Professor and Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia.  He received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in 1988 and then joined the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He started his academic career in Aerospace Engineering the University of Illinois and went on to rise to the position of Professor and Willet Scholar before moving to the University of Virginia. He has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a Fellow of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and a Fellow of Cambridge University (Magdalene College). Loth’s research includes extreme-scale wind turbines, renewable energy storage systems, propulsion, aerodynamics, supersonics, multiphase flow, and super-hydrophobicity. With his students, he has led or co-led more than $20M in research funding and authored over 300 publications. He has contributed to several books and a new book for Cambridge University Press will be published in 2020. Loth has received honors and awards AIAA, ASME, NASA, NSF, and the Navy. Dr. Loth has given invited talks at Cambridge, Penn, Princeton, Oxford, Harvard, and MIT. His leads the ARPA-E project team on extreme-scale morphing wind turbines, which was invited to for a Congressional Showcase at Capitol Hill, and has received coverage in American Scientist, Popular Science, USA Today, MIT Technology Review, CNBC, and several other media outlets.

Persons with disabilities may submit a request for accommodations to participate in this event at UT Dallas' ADA website. You may also call (972) 883-5331 for assistance or send an email to [email protected]. All requests should be received no later than 2 business days prior to the event.
Contact Info:
Jennifer Klunk, 972-883-3525
Questions? Email me.

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