The U.S. Department of Energy has announced up to $28 million in funding for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, Aerodynamic Turbines, Lighter and Afloat, with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS). ATLANTIS projects will develop new technologies for floating, offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) using the discipline of control co-design (CCD).
“The United States has 13,000 miles of shoreline, which is a huge opportunity to lead the world in capitalizing offshore wind,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “The ATLANTIS projects will help advance American offshore wind production and the accompanying job, manufacturing, and investment growth for the nation.”
Control co-design methodologies bring together diverse engineering disciplines to work concurrently while designing a device, instead of in sequential steps. The CCD approach enables project teams to develop new ways to build FOWTs that would not be possible using a traditional design approach.
Much of the United States’ best offshore wind resources are found in waters too deep for traditional offshore wind turbines, which are fixed to the sea floor. Floating turbines introduce a new set of technical challenges, however. To be successful, ATLANTIS projects will require design approaches that maximize power to weight ratios while maintaining or increasing turbine efficiency.
The ATLANTIS funding opportunity encourages collaboration, calling on scientists, engineers, and practitioners from different disciplines, technology sectors, and organizations to form diverse and experienced project teams. ARPA-E projects are intended to facilitate scientific and technological discoveries that a single group alone would not be able to achieve.