Energizing Iowa
Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development
IAWind.org IAWind.org

Opportunities for Collaborative Projects and Use of Universities' Infrastructure

Iowa State University
The University of Iowa
University of Northern Iowa

Iowa State University Electrical and Computer Engineering

Opportunities for Collaborative Projects:

Establishing partnerships between ISU, Iowa electric utilities, and the wind energy industry is a strategy to raise Iowa wind power penetration well beyond current levels. Sample projects include:

  • Development of advanced wind park capability curves that includes magnetic saturation
  • Converter controls that prevent crowbar retriggering during post fault voltage recovery
  • Implementation of active power damping controller to reduce drive train oscillations
  • Evaluation of additional dynamic reactive support not compensated by wind park
  • Grid security, monitoring, fault location and recovery methods
  • Development of multi-state transmission plans to export wind power
  • Wind park MW control to eliminate transmission overloads
  • Storage methods to compensate for MW output variability of wind farms
  • Electronic sensors for measurement of wind conditions at local turbine
  • System monitoring, communication and control using wireless networks
  • Data acquisition, data analysis and instrument calibration.
  • High performance computing for large-scale simulations and design optimization

Utilization of Infrastructure:

  • The Electric Power and Energy Systems Group (http://www.ece.iastate.edu/research/energy-systems.html) maintains a power electronics laboratory for testing control capability of induction motors with plans for an alternative energy lab. It uses industry grade simulation software such as PSS/E, Eurostag, and DIgSILENT Power Factory. The Information Infrastructure Institute (ICUBE) is researching issues in the protection of critical infrastructure that include information, energy distribution, public transportation, and communication. ICUBE maintains a wireless sensor networks lab with the flexibility to create powerful wireless automated data collection and monitoring systems and a high performance computing lab including an IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer that can be used for complex simulation studies, large-scale data analysis, optimization, and real-time analysis and control. Iowa State University Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering opportunities to collaborate with Industrial and Manufacturing Systems are in manufacturing, production systems analysis and optimization, and occupational safety and ergonomics. The work in rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing could support R&D efforts, while the work in production systems analysis, occupational safety and health and rapid manufacturing would be likely candidates for proposed manufacturing facilities.

Utilization of Infrastructure:

  • The Rapid Manufacturing and Prototyping Laboratory investigates rapid approaches for existing manufacturing methods and new processes and equipment for development.
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Metrology Laboratories capabilities include four CNC milling machines, CNC plasma cutting, laser scanner, three coordinate measuring machines, articulated CMM, prolifometer, microscopes for measurement and microstructures.
  • The Ergonomics Laboratory provides the capability of developing mock ups of workstations for the evaluation of its safety and ergonomics as well as the motion economy of the user.
  • Operations Research/Production Systems Laboratory develops analytical tools for the optimization of productions systems.
  • Mechanical Engineering maintains 52,000 square feet of modern research, laboratory, instructional, and office space. These facilities are fully available in the prospective research program, including a Vibration and Noise Control Laboratory, Center for Building Energy Research, Computational Fluid Dynamics Center, Controls Research Laboratory, Experimental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, Laboratory for Advanced Robotics and Computer Control, and the Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory.
  • The university has a strong record of successful industry-university collaborative success through joint projects in both composites and metallic systems. Possible arrangements include sponsorship of student senior design projects, student internships, and support of graduate/post graduate assistantships to work on collaborative projects in the area of composite materials for wind turbine applications.

Iowa State University Center for Non-destructive Evaluation

Opportunities for Collaborative Projects:

  • Collaborative projects are the norm in CNDE operation. The I/UCRC has 15-20 corporate and government collaborative partners. As one example, CNDE has led a research program known as the Engine Titanium Consortium, in which the efforts of General Electric, Pratt and Whitney and Honeywell are coordinated towards the goal of better detection of defects in titanium rotating components of aircraft engines.

Utilization of Universities Infrastructure:

  • CNDE occupies a 52,000 sq. ft. facility with state of the art equipment enables quantitative NDE measurements and supports the development of innovative techniques with $3.6 million of instrumentation, all available for work on wind turbine problems.

The University of Iowa

Utilization of University of Iowa Infrastructure:

  • The University of Iowa makes its facilities, laboratories, equipment and programs available to research collaborators through two basic methods. One method is through a research contract under the direction of a faculty principal investigator and funded by the corporate sponsor. In other cases, a corporate partner may need access to specialized equipment, facilities or service programs on a case-by-case basis or not via a research contract with the University under the direction of a faculty principal investigator. Under these latter circumstances, the specialized equipment is made available to the corporate partner on a competitively priced fee-for-service basis. A wide range of specialized analytical equipment and other equipment, facilities and service programs are made available to corporate partners under this fee-for-service arrangement.

University of Northern Iowa

Opportunities for Collaborative Projects/Existing Collaborative Relationships:

UNI has made significant progress in recent years to increase collaborative efforts with other academic institutions. Several of the projects and programs listed above, helmed by researchers at UNI, involve collaborators from Iowa’s other Regents Universities, as well as researchers from institutions outside of the state.

  • John Deere Waterloo Works and Product Engineering Center (both located in Waterloo) offer the opportunity for successful collaboration involving drive train and gearbox development and potentially casting of large iron hubs. UNI has a strong established relationship with John Deere and would be able to facilitate a potential collaboration between Deere and wind energy manufacturers.
  • In addition to an existing, small scale wind/solar power system at UNI, the campus offers ample available land, on which large-scale wind-turbine generators and SCADA systems for additional research, education, and training purposes could be located.
  • Waverly Light and Power, an electrical utility company in Waverly, Iowa, has collaborated with the Industrial Technology Department at UNI on several previous projects and has maintained a close connection with the University.