By Tracy Krawczyk-Schiedel
Published April 10, 2020
A project led by John Hall, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was one of six to be funded through UB's Innovation Hub, an initiative that supports the region’s growing startup economy.
Hall's project, entitled "Active Morphing Wind Turbine Blade to achieve Higher Efficiency, Production, and Reliability," received a $94,362 award.
Wind energy technology needs improved energy production and higher reliability to maintain or grow market share and reduce the cost of production. Design innovations to improve wind turbine performance (energy production), system reliability, required infrastructure and maintenance reduces overall usage costs.
Turbine blades affect all these factors, since they are the main tools that convert wind energy into mechanical motion. Current blade design prevents wind turbines from being used to their full potential. Modifying the design could increase production by 11% for a commercial wind turbine.
The award will help Hall and postdoctoral researcher Hamid Khakpour with the design of a new wind turbine blade with active morphing twist capability to increase wind turbine performance and reliability.
The Innovation Hub awarded $450,000 in this round of funding, which stems from a $32 million investment from Empire State Development, with $13.5 million allocated to support emerging technologies from UB and its partner institutions.
UB’s office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships administers the fund and supports each team on its path to commercialization and beyond through new and existing incubation centers, startup outreach and support services.