Next-Generation Wind Energy - John Dabiri

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Opportunities and Challenges for Next-Generation Wind Energy

4:30 - 6 pm

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Arrillaga Alumni Center, Fisher Conference Center  Map


Despite common characterizations of modern wind energy technology as mature, there remains a persistent disconnect between the vast global wind energy resource---which is at least an order of magnitude greater than total global power consumption---and the limited penetration of existing wind energy technologies as a means for electricity generation worldwide. This talk will describe an approach to wind energy harvesting that has the potential to resolve this disconnect by leveraging concepts from unsteady fluid mechanics and biology-inspired engineering. Whereas wind farms consisting of propeller-style turbines produce 2 to 3 watts of power per square meter of the wind farm footprint, full-scale field tests over the past five years have demonstrated that 10x increases in wind farm footprint power density can be achieved by arranging vertical-axis wind turbines in layouts inspired by the configurations of schooling fish and seagrass beds. Opportunities for near-term application of this technology will be discussed, as will remaining challenges for wide-scale implementation of this approach to wind energy.

John Dabiri is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford and a 2010 MacArthur Fellow. He was formerly a professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering at Caltech. He graduated from Princeton University with a BSE degree summa cum laude in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 2001. He came to Caltech as a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, Gordon and Betty Moore Fellow, and Y.C. Fung Fellow in Bioengineering, earning an MS degree in Aeronautics in 2003, followed by a PhD in Bioengineering with a minor in Aeronautics in 2005. He subsequently joined the Caltech faculty. His honors include an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for his research in bio-inspired propulsion. Popular Science magazine named him one of its "Brilliant 10" scientists in 2008. For his research in bio-inspired wind energy, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine listed him among its Technology Innovators in 2012, and the MIT Technology Review magazine named him one of its 35 innovators under 35 in 2013. In 2014, he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He served as the Chair of the Faculty at Caltech from 2013-2014.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016. 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Arrillaga Alumni Center, Fisher Conference Center

Last modified Mon, 22 Feb, 2016 at 9:28