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Frontiers In Science public lectures: Harvesting energy from air

Includes a discussion on research that engineers are conducting to increase turbine power output and make them last longer.
March 10, 2011
Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

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LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, March 10, 2011—How does a modern wind turbine work? Why are turbines becoming so big? How much wind energy is available in the United States? At a Frontiers in Science series talk Monday (March 14), Los Alamos National Laboratory engineer Curtt Ammerman will explore these and other questions beginning at 7 p.m. in the James A. Little Theatre of the New Mexico School for Deaf in Santa Fe.

“Harvesting Energy Out of Thin Air” includes a discussion on research that engineers are conducting to increase turbine power output and make them last longer.

Ammerman leads the Laboratory’s intelligent wind turbine program, which is working to develop wind turbine design codes and improve wind turbine reliability. “The size of modern wind turbines is growing so quickly that it is difficult for designers to anticipate the problems they will encounter,” said Ammerman. “We are taking advantage of supercomputers at Los Alamos and its talented engineering staff to provide solutions to the growing wind industry.”

Ammerman, of Los Alamos’s Mechanical and Thermal Engineering group in the Applied Energy and Technology Division, also plans to give the talk on these dates:

March 16 at the Museum of Natural History and Science, 1801 Mountain Road N.W., Albuquerque
March 22, Duane Smith Auditorium, Los Alamos High School
March 23, Nick Salazar Center for the Arts, Northern New Mexico College, Española.
All the talks begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Ammerman joined the Laboratory in 1998; he has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from Purdue University and a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Sponsored by the Fellows of Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Frontiers in Science lecture series is intended to increase local public awareness of the diversity of science and engineering research at the Laboratory.

For more information, contact Linda Anderman of the Community Programs Office at (505) 665-9196.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.


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