February 18, 2007

February 7, 2007
Sandia helps develop new wind turbine blade design
Blade’s most distinctive characteristic is gently curved tip

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new wind turbine blade design that researchers at Sandia National Laboratories developed in partnership with Knight & Carver (K&C) of San Diego promises to be more efficient than current designs. It should significantly reduce the cost-of-energy (COE) of wind turbines at low-wind-speed sites.
Named “STAR” for Sweep Twist Adaptive Rotor, the blade is the first of its kind produced at a utility-grade size. Its most distinctive characteristic is a gently curved tip, termed “sweep,” which unlike the vast majority of blades in current use, is specially designed for low-wind-speed regions like the Midwest. The sites targeted by this effort have annual average wind speeds of 5.8 meters per second, measured at 10-meter height. Such sites are abundant in the U.S. and would increase by 20-fold the available land area that can be economically developed for wind energy.