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DOE will test portable, rapid-deployment wind turbines for military and disaster relief purposes

DOE will test portable, rapid-deployment wind turbines for military and disaster relief purposes


A team of public and private labs working to provide disaster relief organizations and the military with reliable renewable energy solutions are testing proposed deployable wind technology in remote communities.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Idaho National Laboratory have spent four years working together with Sandia National Laboratories to find fast and reliable power solutions for conflict and disaster, a November 22 press releaseof NREL said.

While she noted that modular solar panels are easy to ship and install, the team is focusing on wind solutions due to a potential lack of consistent sunlight in places of conflict and disaster. This required innovations that could allow a wind turbine to arrive and be deployed quickly, the statement said.

Brent Summerville, distributed wind power systems engineer at NREL who helped with the project, said portable wind turbines that can be assembled and deployed quickly are a totally different challenge than the wind power industry is used to. .

Ultimately, the team was able to design a 20-kilowatt wind turbine that, with a few solar panels and batteries, could fit in the 20-foot shipping containers the military and American Red Cross often use.

The team hosted a virtual workshop in June where wind turbine vendors discussed the technology’s potential with military and disaster response organizations, and they heard they wanted evidence of wind turbine deployments. tests passed, according to the NREL statement.

Sandia National Laboratories mechanical engineer Brent Houchens said the project focuses on extreme cases where a complete loss of power is untenable. He agreed that the planned tests are necessary so that these technologies do not prove their effectiveness when people’s lives are at stake.

Houchens said the team plans to test these deployable turbines by installing them in remote locations withresearchers based at climate monitoring sites in the Arctic and remote communities in Alaska seeking to reduce their overall reliance on fossil fuels.

20ft shipping containers could potentially hold even more kilowatts of wind power from less proven airborne wind turbine technology,NREL release noted.

Military and disaster relief organizations want something that will work, Summerville said. Finally, if it proves to be reliable, the air wind could be a good choice.




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