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UMaine Narratives - Environmental Technology

Wind TurbineNew wind and wave generating system

The University of Maine will expand its offshore wind research and development facilities in the next year, constructing an addition for wind and wave testing at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The new 13,000-square-foot, $6 million facility is funded by a $3 million Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration grant and a Maine bond. In addition, UMaine, Maine Maritime Academy, Sandia National Laboratories and National Renewable Energy Laboratory received a nearly $984,000 Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant from the National Science Foundation to create a New wind and wave generating system — W2.

Data collected from the system — the only one of its kind in the United States — will be used to develop test standards for floating structures, particularly those requiring wind and wave interaction, such as offshore floating wind turbines, says Krish Thiagarajan, UMaine’s Alston D. and Ada Lee Correll Presidential Chair in Energy and mechanical engineering professor, who is the principal investigator of the project. Other uses include testing by ocean energy developers and those in the offshore oil and gas industry; studying wave interaction with beaches and structures by coastal engineers; and examining wind dispersal of marine pollutants by oil spill management companies.


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