Wind and Wave
Scientists, engineers and geographers at ODU will help decide whether coastal Virginia's abundant supply of wind and wave energy should be tapped to generate electricity.
Wind turbines are producing electricity throughout the world today. The so-called "wind farm" clusters of modern windmills sometimes are developed in near-shore or offshore marine sites, which present special challenges. Virginians will want assurances that a coastal wind farm will be reliable and will not have adverse environmental impacts. State officials must look to experts such as ODU faculty members for answers.
Questions about bird migration routes, weather patterns, seabed geology and ways to anchor turbine towers are among the many that researchers must address.
ODU, which has program strengths in fluid dynamics, electrical and computer engineering and modeling and analysis, also can contribute expertise in turbine blade design and in modeling to predict wind power generation and strategies for integration of wind power into conventional electrical power grids.
Generating electricity by means of wave energy is not a mature technology. Researchers at ODU with expertise in fields such as oceanography, computer modeling and hydrodynamics can help to formulate wave-harnessing strategies for the Mid-Atlantic coast. Several ODU engineers propose to model design concepts that utilize energy extraction from waves to supplement wind power.
For more information, visit http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/~jlblanco/windenergy/wind_first.1.htm.