Sandia National Laboratories
Exceptional service in the national interest
SWiFT consists of three research-scale wind turbines (modified Vestas V27s). The turbines are capable of full variable-speed, variable-pitch operation with rotational speeds ranging from 0–55 rpm, rotor blades of 13 meters in length, and a maximum power rating of 300 kW. Highly experienced and passionate technologists and engineers support the SWiFT Facility and are focused on partnering for success. The SWiFT Facility project team has access to Sandia’s vast network of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and can provide myriad additional testing capabilities in Albuquerque, NM. Sandia has also developed a Power Hardware-in-the-Loop simulator in Albuquerque that is used at the Distributed Energy Technologies Lab (DETL) for controls and cyber simulation research. This combination of hardware and software also allows researchers to run control software prior to deployment at the SWiFT Facility for quality and safety assurance.
The site provides reliable data from two, a 60-meter tall anemometer towers instrumented with sonic and cup anemometers. The research-grade three-dimensional sonic anemometers measure the inflow at six levels, including one that is a blade length above the rotor.
Capabilities of the site include:
A state-of-the-art control building, located at the facility’s northwest corner, contains 640 square feet of computing space for wind-turbine control, including two offices for proprietary work and an electronic troubleshooting shop. A fiber controller allows for tremendous data transfer capability and flexible site network reconfiguration.
The turbines are heavily instrumented with state-of-the-art control and data-acquisition systems featuring GPS-based, site-wide time synchronization. The site instrumentation provides hundreds of channels of structural and aerodynamic data to fully understand the instantaneous state of the rotor, wind turbines, and wind farm for advanced control strategies, such as rotor-based active aerodynamic load control. Sandia has also developed a Power Hardware-in-the-Loop simulator in Albuquerque, NM, that is used at the Distributed Energy Technologies Lab (DETL) for controls and cyber simulation research. This combination of hardware and software also allows researchers to run control software prior to deployment at the SWiFT Facility for quality and safety assurance.
The assembly building is available for experimental preparation of rotors and other components, and includes a 5,500 square foot, environmentally controlled high-bay assembly area with machining capabilities. The machining area includes a lathe, multiple mills, drill press, welders, and a full complement of tooling to produce unique and on-demand parts.