Energy and Climate
Energy and ClimateRenewable SystemsRenewable EnergyWind EnergyScaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT)

Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT)

Figure 1.Turbine–turbine interaction schematic with wakes denoted by white helices and white fog.

SWiFT: Innovating the Future of Wind Farm Performance

It is well known that large amounts of wind energy are not effectively harvested in large wind farms because the turbines “shadow” each other and reduce the output of the turbines located in their wake. The wakes also produce increased turbulence and uneven loading on the shadowed turbines, increasing fatigue issues that eventually affect a wind farm’s longevity and reliability.

View the SWiFT Overview Presentation pptx 10.04 MB

Read more about TTU’s National Wind Institute, Texas Tech University National Wind Institute Overview pdf 1.23 MB.

Read more about DOE’s Wind Program, and DOE’s Wind Program Accomplishments.

View the Texas Tech Press Kit.

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Rotor on ground ready to be lifted including Sandia’s telemetric rotor instrumentation.

Test-Bed Wind Turbines Allow Facility Flexibility While Providing Reliable Data in Many Regimes

SWiFT will initially consist of three research-scale wind turbines (modified Vestas V27s) with the first two turbines spaced three diameters apart, perpendicular to the oncoming wind, and the third turbine five diameters downwind. (The turbines form a 3-, 5-, and 6-rotor-diameter-length triangle.) The site has been prepared to add seven additional research-scale wind turbines in the future. The V27 turbine was chosen as the test bed due to its proven history of high reliability. It will be capable of full variable-speed variable-pitch operation with rotational speeds ranging from 0–55 rpm, rotor blades of 9–15 meter lengths, and a maximum power rating of 300 kW.

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Partnership Opportunities

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.

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SWiFT Research

The current interest areas for research at SWiFT are

  • Wake energy loss
  • Wake-induced loads
  • Advanced rotor development
  • Turbine control in wind farms
  • Advanced sensing

View a presentation about the SWiFT facility.

Recent SWiFT News

National Rotor Testbed Functional Scaling Presented at American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 2014 ScitechDavid Maniaci (in Sandia’s Wind Energy Technologies Dept.) traveled to National Harbor, Maryland, in January to present a paper at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) SciTech/American Society of Mechanical Engineers Wind Energy Symposium titled, “Definition of the National Rotor Testbed: An Aeroelastically Relevant Research-Scale Wind Turbine Rotor.” Approximately 60 researchers from various institutions […]
Scaled Wind Farm Technology Facility Baselining Project Accelerates WorkWith the Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility’s basic operation and data collection now operational, the SWiFT Baselining Team met at Sandia on February 20th to kick-off the SWiFT Facility Baselining Project’s major work phase. The project’s goal is to achieve complete operational readiness and verification of all SWiFT controller, data acquisition, and instrumentation systems for future […]
Increasing the Scaled Wind Farm Technology Facility’s Power ProductionDuring the period of February 24–March 7, Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility turbines were operational—producing power and collecting data for the longest period to date. On March 5, both turbines produced rated power of 200 kW without any issue. A snapshot of 184 kW is shown in the figure. To date, the turbines have been running with supervised operation […]

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about the research or the facilities, feel free to contact the DOE/SNL SWiFT Facility Lead:

Jon White,

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