Chamorro and team awarded $1.5M to develop new blade materials
MechSE associate professor Leo Chamorro is leading an interdisciplinary team that will engineer, evaluate, test, and optimize bioinspired sandwich-like layered composite systems for use in marine and riverine turbines. The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy awarded $1.5M to the team, which includes MechSE professors Iwona Jasiuk and Arne Pearlstein, along with Professor Jinhui Yan (CEE), Dr. Jacob Meyer (ATSP Innovations, Inc.), and Professor Martin Wosnik (University of New Hampshire).
The investigators bring complementary tools and extensive records of fundamental and applied research in materials, hydrokinetic energy, state-of-the-art laboratory and field experiments, and numerical simulations.
Using an integrated computational and experimental approach, the team will identify the material candidates and layered architectures offering the best combination of performance, durability, and lifecycle cost. Optimized layered composite systems will enable marine turbine rotors to work under high steady and unsteady multiscale turbulent loading in various environments.
The four-year project aims to significantly reduce blade failure and operation and maintenance of marine energy converters, which are important factors in the Levelized Cost of the Energy.
“Resilient blades able to withstand harsh riverine and marine currents are crucial to future growth of renewable energy technology and industry,” the team said. “Novel composite systems can be broadly utilized in multiple marine energy applications.”