Science Café Cleveland presents


"Wind power: how air or energy for the future?"


AUGUST 13, 2012




Iwan Alexander, PhD

Chair, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Case Western Reserve University



In this presentation Iwan will talk about offshore wind (including the Great Lakes), its relevance, barriers to implementation and its role now and in the future relative to conventional fuels for electrical power – coal, natural gas and nuclear.


For the U.S. to reach the Department of Energy's (DOE) goal of 54GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, thousands of new multi-megawatt wind turbines need to be installed along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Great Lakes coasts.  These plants are expected to site turbines in arrays much larger than the typical offshore sizes today (which range from 40-100 turbines, in Europe) to achieve the cost reductions necessary to make offshore wind cost competitive.  To achieve U.S. wind generation objectives, multiple critical factors must be addressed, as follows:


•       Reducing the cost of wind energy compared to current dominant non-renewable sources of U.S. energy production – coal, natural gas and nuclear


•       Integrating wind into electric power systems with efficient and reliable delivery and addition of transmission capacity where needed


•       Leveraging a diversity of wind energy sources and geographic distribution reflected in utility-scale land-based wind, offshore wind, and distributed wind


•       Inspiring scientific and engineering innovation at a system, component, and operational level


•       Attracting investment with policy and stability including fair and equivalent subsidization and recognition of total carbon cost


•       Enabling social acceptance of the value and impacts of renewable energy sources


To motivate and evolve innovations in hardware and the optimization of strategies for offshore deployment, research at CWRU deals with a range of aspects including structural foundations, materials performance, lifetime and degradation of components, controls, wind measurement and characterization, and computational simulation of wind turbine and wind array (multiple turbines) dynamics. The challenge for simulation is to develop reliable and robust predictive capability that will: (i) analyze offshore array performance in shallow, transitional and deep water depths, (ii) analyze the performance of wind turbines within the array, and (iii) assist in the evolution of innovative prototype hardware, control strategies, and array configurations for optimized deployment.




Great Lakes Energy Institute


Department of Energy Report “20% Wind Energy by 2030”


National Renewable Energy Laboratory Report on Offshore Wind





WHERE: The Market Garden Brewery

(Located at 1947 West 25th Street next to the West Side Market, Cleveland, Ohio)


WHEN: August 13, 2012

Drinks at 6:30 pm, discussion starts around 7:00 pm


WHO: Sponsored by Case Western Reserve University chapter of Sigma Xi, WCPN

ideastream, and the Market Garden Brewery


Click here to download a pdf flyer of the event