The Center for Enhanced Wind Energy Design, titled “eWiND.” is seeking to develop revolutionary designs that involve “virtual aerodynamic shaping” for enhanced wind energy systems. The outdoor laboratory will provide a rich environment for multidisciplinary investigations including fluid dynamics, acoustics, fluid-structure interaction, design optimization, materials, failure modeling, system feedback and control, and atmospheric turbulence.
Although wind energy has long been recognized as a low-cost, clean source of electricity, substantial reductions in the cost of per kilowatt hour are needed for the technology to become competitive with fossil-powered generating technologies. The White Field wind turbine research laboratory is aimed at overcoming this obstacle through the design of advanced rotors that feature a Notre Dame-patented plasma flow control technology. The plasma actuators are designed to increase the energy capture of wind turbines without increasing the weight of the rotors.