The SWiFT Facility can support all manner of collaborative and fully proprietary projects. Collaborative projects which align with and expand currently funded research activities can be facilitated through Collaborative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). Projects in which the complete intellectual property must be protected or are in a completely new R&D thrust can be arranged through Work For Others (WFO) agreements. In these projects, the facility serves a completely contracted and independent role.
SWiFT can also support highly sensitive proprietary R&D through policies and procedures established by Sandia’s national security expertise. Turbines and anemometer towers can be set up on isolated communication intranets to fully protect all data and results. Private offices can be provided in the control building to host proprietary computers and information technology. Access restrictions at the surrounding facility, around the turbines, and within the assembly building can be set to afford protections during experiment setup and tear down.
A non-exhaustive list of test opportunities are:
- Rotors and blades
- New rotor blades/reference testing
Minimal time and cost is required to exchange rotor blades. Other SWiFT turbines can serve as reference turbines and/or provide upwind turbulence interaction for wind farm study.
- Advanced technology
Active load control or heavily instrumented rotors can be supported with an easily reconfigurable/expandable combined control and data-acquisition network, including the rotor.
- Turbine controls and actuators
- SWiFT has been constructed with an open-source rapidly reconfigurable control and data-acquisition network that can implement a variety of wind-turbine and wind-farm controls.
- Wind plant operation
- SWiFT is the only facility in the U.S. specifically built to study and develop wind-plant technology. Combined with Texas Tech University’s Ka-band radars, both the SWiFT wake mapping and full-scale wind farms can be experimentally investigated and compared to the models run on Sandia’s supercomputing facilities.
- Wind sensors
- SWiFT is representative of a high percentage of the U.S. wind-turbine fleet allowing ideal testing of wind-resource assessment measurement technology.
- Turbine sensors
- All components of the SWiFT turbines are highly characterized and instrumented to permit a wide variety of studies. Additionally, the reconfigurable data-acquisition systems allow easy opportunity for sensors to be added for new or comparative purposes.
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