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Wind Energy Research

The Boise State College of Engineering has been involved in wind energy research since 2002.  That research has carried over into the classroom and led to senior design projects in both the mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines.

COEN Resources Available

  • Wind Tunnel
  • Scintec SODAR
  • Wind Energy Software Packages
    • WAsP, Calmet/WRF, Fluent, SolidWorks/FloWorks

Education & Outreach Activities

  • Provide technical assistance to Idaho Office of Energy Resources
  • Participate in and co-host Idaho Wind Energy Working Group

Research Projects

  • Forecasting for Wind Energy Grid Integration, 2008-2009
    • Attempting to forecast power (MW) output from a 42 MW wind energy facility in time increments 5-minutes, one-hour and 24-hours ahead by coupling mesoscale weather forecasts with Computational Fluid Dynamics to forecast wind speeds at each turbine and incorporating SCADA system information for turbine availability
    • Competitive funding (50%) received from Bonneville Power Administration
    • Project collaborators include:
      • Idaho National Lab
      • Idaho Power Company
      • John Deere Renewable Energy (facility  owner/operator)
      • Renaissance Engineering and Design
  • United States Department of Energy Wind Application Center, 2008
    • Recently named as one of six Wind Application Centers in the nation as part of U.S. DOE’s Wind for Schools Program
      • Train engineers to enter wind industry workforce
      • Develop long-term wind-energy program, DOE funded for 1st 3 years
      • Provide technical support to Wind for Schools program
      • Provide technical assistance to support state-wide wind energy activities
  • Distributed Wind Energy in Idaho, 2006-2008
    • Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy
    • 12-month initial timeline, extended to 30-months
    • Research tasks focused on extracting more energy in low-wind sites
      • Wind for irrigators study
      • Active drivetrain control for variable speed operation
      • Series connected induction generators for multi-speed operation
      • Rotor blade design studies for low wind rotors
  • Industry Research, Ongoing
    • PowerWorks, LLC: senior design projects: 2007-2008 and 2008-2009
  • Idaho Board of Education Research Initiation Grant, 2004-2005
    • Seed grant for wind energy program

Senior Design Projects