Offshore Wind IGERT Student Presentations

View the seminar here:

Tracking Coastal and Offshore Bird Movements in the Gulf of Maine

The Gulf of Maine offers excellent potential for offshore wind development. However the offshore environments in this region provide important migration corridors for songbirds, and harbor vulnerable and declining breeding populations of seabirds. We are using Nano tags and automated telemetry devices to track the breeding season and dispersal movements of common and Arctic terns and migratory movements of songbirds in the Gulf of Maine. Our work demonstrates the vast potential for this new tracking technology. The findings of this research will help to inform a landscape-scale regional analysis of the potential impacts of wind energy development in the Gulf of Maine.

Bio-based Materials in Offshore Wind

Wood, once the material of choice for wind turbine blades, was phased out in the late 20th century as the growing size of blades imposed stricter material requirements and glass- and carbon-fiber composites gained industry popularity. However, the last several years have seen great advances in bio-based composite materials technology, including wood composites and laminates. These materials are being utilized increasingly in high-performance, structurally demanding applications, in part because they are a more sustainable choice than many other engineering materials. Today, as the first glass-fiber wind turbine blades are ready to retire, we are presented with an enormous challenge in disposing of these non-recyclable blades. Through bio-based materials, the potential exists for blades to be carbon neutral, renewable, and recyclable. This presentation will begin with a discussion of engineering challenges to large turbine blade design and bio-based materials design, then present completed and proposed research toward the design of large bio-based wind turbine blades.

Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 3:30pm
Gunness Engineering Student Center conference room in Marcus Hall