The Wind Energy Center is moving ahead to realize its potential for service to its students, the Commonwealth and the nation in driving innovation in wind energy deployment through research and across disciplines. A multi-disciplinary team of faculty affiliated with the Center include the following academic departments: Civil, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; Environmental Conservation; Clean Energy Extension; Economics; and Regional Planning. With Funding from sources such as National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), the State of Massachusetts, in addition to partnerships with academic institutions and wind industry, the Center brings researchers together who understand the technical challenges, environmental implications, socioeconomic impacts and regulatory hurdles of offshore wind development.
“We cover a pretty broad area of topics related to offshore wind. We have people who work on blades and turbines, foundations and anchors (the structure underneath the turbine), the soils on which the turbines are installed, and grid integration (how large-scale renewables can be integrated into the electrical system). We also have people who think about how turbines interact with wildlife, whether that’s birds, whales or fish.” - Professor Matthew Lackner, Director of WEC, 2022 Interview
View recent research publications (last updated February 2022) listed in Google Scholar by WEC faculty and co-researchers, which span a variety of topics, including the latest works (Note: UMass Amherst Wind Energy Center faculty authors in boldface):
- Influence of foundation damping on offshore wind turbine monopile design loads (W Carswell, SR Arwade, J Johansson, DJ DeGroot - Marine Structures, 2022)
- A perspective on equity implications of net zero energy systems (E Baker, AP Goldstein, IML Azevedo - Energy and Climate Change, 2021)
- Edgewise vibration suppression of multi-megawatt wind turbine blades using passive tuned mass dampers (S Park, MA Lackner - Wind Engineering, 2021)
- Performance Modeling of a Variable-Geometry Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter on a Raised Foundation (C Burge, N Tom, K Thiagarajan, J Davis, N Nguyen - International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, 2021)
- Thermoeconomic analysis of a multigeneration system using waste heat from a triple power cycle (K Mohammadi, JG McGowan, K Powell - Applied Thermal Engineering, 2021)
Research In Progress
Professors Matthew Lackner and James Manwell, and Ph.D. candidate Aaron Annan are optimizing the hull design of a novel, unmoored, floating offshore wind turbine concept that produces green hydrogen in the far offshore environment. This concept has the potential to tap the enormous wind resource far from shore while producing green hydrogen that may be used to decarbonize sectors such as agriculture, industrial processes, and transportation. Aaron Annan discusses the Wind Trawler, or Wind Ship, technology in a recent video :
ARWADE LEADS UMASS TEAM ON HURRICANE RESILIENCY MODELING PROJECT
As featured in campus-wide research news in April, UMass researchers led by Sanjay Arwade, civil engineering, are collaborating on the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium’s (NOWRDC) project to quantify and assess the risk to offshore wind installations of Atlantic coast hurricanes.
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IS GLAUCONITIC SANDS A NEW GEOHAZARD TO US OFFSHORE WIND DEVELOPMENT? UMASS AMHERST IS HELPING TO ANSWER
Umass Amherst has been awarded an initial grant for $120,000 to play a key role in the technical leadership of a joint industry project to investigate piling in glauconitic sands (PIGS, for short), providing field testing support and performing advanced geotechnical laboratory testing. With the Phase 2 field work now wrapping up, the UMass team, led by Associate Professor Zack Westgate of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, look forward to kicking off the third phase of the project this summer with advanced laboratory testing using the geotechnical facilities on campus.
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Learn more about WEC faculty research areas of interest >>