Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM Professor's Renewable Energy Article Published to the U's Inquiry Blog

Dr. Peter Seiler, an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (AEM), was highlighted in a recent article published to the U of M's Inquiry blog on research and innovation.

The story centers on the growing role of renewable energy in Minnesota and opportunities for improving the system to deliver more reliable, less expensive energy to rural and industrial areas. Dr. Seiler is part of a multi-disciplinary team of experts that is investigating techniques to better integrate solar and wind resources into the power grid. The power supplied by these renewable resources fluctuates as environmental conditions change. The team is attempting to use advanced sensors and control systems to moderate the effects of these variations and to manage peak demand levels. This will lead to lower costs and a more efficient power supply.

Dr. Seiler's specific role is to design wind turbine systems that can sense and respond to changing wind conditions as well as changing demands in the power system. A more responsive turbine can adjust its rotational speed to optimize efficiency allowing it to capture more energy while reducing maintenance costs from wear and tear.

"Integrating larger amounts of renewable resources requires technological advances as well as improved policies for efficient operation of the power system," said Dr. Seiler. "Our research team is uniquely positioned to make these breakthroughs."

This project builds upon larger efforts at the University to study wind energy within the Eolos Wind Energy research consortium (http://www.eolos.umn.edu/) and was funded through one of the MnDRIVE's transdisciplinary grants. For more information and to read the article, visit: z.umn.edu/psh