ETRI conducts a wide range of wind research, from improving the design and materials used to make turbine blades, through to the way wind energy is harnessed and used by the national grid.
Because of wind’s intermittent nature, our scientists are looking at ways in which energy can be stored during off-peak times, then released when there’s a high demand. One novel way to do this is to use wind, wave, tidal and solar power to compress and pump air into underwater bags anchored to the seabed. During periods of large demand, the air would be released through a turbine, converting it into electricity.
Another of ETRI’s main areas of expertise is in sophisticated computer modelling of the wind field and wind structure interactions. Our research can help better predict wind patterns, in turn helping wind farm operators know when to operate their turbines, increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Our engineers can also help in the design of new turbines. As companies look to build much larger models, assumptions about the effects of wind turbulence can no longer be applied, so our world-class expertise can have a hugely positive impact on new designs.
Storing the wind
Seamus Garvey explains his ideas for storing wind energy.
The 1,000ft wind turbine
Seamus Garvey travels to the Waltham transmitter to better comprehend the scale of his wind turbine plan. His turbines create energy different to conventional ones, using falling masses within the blades to compress air.
Low-cost solar technology is ideal for generating small amounts of power, for example a single house, but not for operating a large-scale power station. Higher efficiency solar cells are needed for power station applications. ETRI physicists, as part of a major Europe-wide consortium, are currently developing new materials that will be the major components in the next generation of higher efficiency solar cells.
Using a sophisticated molecular beam epitaxy machine, scientists are growing novel semiconductor materials. Their aim is to manipulate the properties of these materials and the way they’re grown, to make more efficient solar cells.
Also, by developing materials that use a wider spectrum of light than the current solar cells, they can create materials for cells that work even in cloudy conditions, thus improving their applicability.
ETRI material scientists and engineers – as part of the latest European-wide FP7 project – are developing a solar cell processing chain for high throughput, cost-effective manufacturing of high performance, thin-film silicon-based solar cells on low-cost silicon substrates.
As part of another newly launched European wide FP7 project on Scalenano, materials scientists and engineers at ETRI are working towards achieving a breakthrough in the cost efficiency and competitiveness of photovoltaic devices and modules based on chalcogenide thin film technologies.
This goal will be accomplished by the development, optimisation and industrial scale-up of environmentally friendly processes based on nanostructured materials that are compatible with mass production requirements, while considering future developments related with throughput, materials availability and increasing efficiency.