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Wind Research at MIT

Below are several different research groups and faculty engaged in wind energy research on MIT's campus.  If you are interested in having your group's research featured here, please contact us at wind 'at' mit 'dot' edu

Course 2 (Mechanical Engineering)

Professor Paul Sclavounos

Professor Sclavounos' work focuses in part on floating wind turbines. 

Professor Alexander Slocum

Professor Slocum is working on how to integrate an energy-storage system into mooring of offshore wind farms.  

Course 6 (Electrical Engineering)
Professor James Kirtley

Projects with Professor Kirtley's group have included the work of Jiankang Wang, who just finished a Master's thesis related to the price impact of wind energy. Her thesis was really about an improvement in existing bidding practices for the daily auction that takes place between electricity suppliers and users, incorporating the willingness of users to defer or reschedule electric power usage in response to price differences over the day. Olivia Leiterman is looking into the uses of energy storage and how judicious use of energy storage might make the electric power system work better.  He is also interested in design of generators for wind turbines (and other forms of sustainable energy, including tidal, wave and run of the river hydro), including large offshore installations with potential projects in these areas forthcoming.

Professor Steven Leeb

Steven B. Leeb received his doctoral degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993. He has served as a commissioned officer in the USAF reserves, and he has been a member on the MIT faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science since 1993. He also holds a joint appointment in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is concerned with the design, development,and maintenance processes for all kinds of machinery with electrical actuators, sensors, or power electronic drives. Among other applications, his group is working to develop the nonintrusive load monitor (NILM), a device that determines the operating schedule and health of electrical loads from very limited measurements, for application in condition-based maintenance of systems like air conditioning plants and windmills.

Professor Sanjoy Mitter

Professor Mitter works in the areas of wind farm control and interconnection of wind energy to the power grid.

Course 11 (Urban Studies and Planning)

Professor Larry Susskind

The Environmental Policy and Planning Group (EPP) in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning has been working for a number of years on strategies to overcome political opposition to the siting of off-shore wind farms. We have been tracking the proposed Cape Wind project (off the Massachusetts coast) since it was proposed, trying to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the multiple federal and state regulatory review processes used to assess its probable environmental, social and economic impacts. In addition, we have monitored state siting processes in a number of other coastal states and in Europe. We are interested in the prospects of organizing a "two-track" system to allow experimental facilities to go forward on a scale-limited and time-limited basis without a complete environmental impact review as long as the possible impacts are likely to be limited and all relevant stakeholders have a chance to participate in a transparent monitoring effort. We are also interested in state efforts to "zone" the near shore ocean, pre-approving areas where off-shore wind facilities would be encouraged. In conjunction with the Consensus Building Institute, we are about to launch a training program for state siting officials that will introduce them to a range of joint fact finding and consensus building techniques. Finally, we are preparing a transnational analysis of the environmental impact assessments of offshore wind projects and reviewing new offshore wind turbine technologies, including floating turbines, that allow wind farms to be built in deep water, farther off shore. See for details: http://scienceimpact.mit.edu. 

Course 16 (Aeronautics and Astronautics)

Professor Jaume Peraire

He has started work with some UROP's and undergraduates to build Vertical Axis Turbines. We are looking into non-conventional designs involving active pitch blade actuation to improve performance. The work is just starting and in a few months we might have some designs to show.  We will be testing these designs in the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel.

Principal Research Scientist Una-May O'Reilly

Currently formulating a variety of wind energy information technology related projects. Conceptualizing and conducting projects in wind farm assessment (micro-turbine siting optimization and measure-correlate-predict), operations (short term farm forecasting, smart grid interaction) and maintenance (diagnostics and prognostics).

See for details: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/EVODesignOpt/evo.php?n=Site.CurrentProjects










e-mail: wind at mit dot edu