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Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability

Department of Physics


A Winton teatime discussion hosted by Dr Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz, Junior Research Fellow at DAMTP , where he works on the aerodynamics of large wind farms. In July, he will join the Mechanical Engineering department at UC Santa Barbara, where he will lead the newly formed Laboratory for Fluid Energy Science.

Abstract: The power output of wind farms is limited by wind shadowing effects between turbines, which can lead to drastic performance losses. Reducing such losses is the subject of extensive research; however, there is currently no theory yielding an upper bound on the amount of power that can be extracted by a turbine array. Establishing such a bound is of key importance; if current wind farms are already close to this limit, further research may not be cost-effective. We build a model describing a large array of turbines with arbitrary design and layout, finding a theoretical limit that is an order of magnitude higher than the output of current wind farms. Our theory also indicates that farm output is primarily affected by the large-scale flow features over the array, rather than by individual turbine performance, and therefore suggests a strategy for pursuing substantial array improvements.

Bio: Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz graduated with a BEng in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southampton in 2003. After a summer working with the ATLAS Magnet Team at CERN, he completed an MSc in Applied Mathematics at Imperial College in 2004, and an MS (2007) and a PhD (2011) in Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. He subsequently worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Cornell and as a Devonshire Postdoctoral Scholar at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. At Southampton, Luzzatto-Fegiz was awarded the Graham prize for best experimental project in the School of Engineering Sciences, together with the Royal Aeronautical Society Prize for highest first-class degree. At Cornell, he received a Graduate Fellowship, as well as the Bolgiano Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. His doctoral work received the 2011 Acrivos Award of the American Physical Society for outstanding dissertation in Fluid Dynamics at a U.S. university.
All welcome to attend and light refreshments will be available.
Thursday, 22 January, 2015 - 16:00 to 17:00
Event location: 
TCM Seminar Room, Cavendish Laboratory

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