Sandia Labs FY21 LDRD Annual Report


R&D 100 Award Winner AeroMINE opens up distributed wind power possibilities for rooftops and remote locations. Distributed (point-of-use) wind energy has the potential to significantly increase world-wide green energy production and allow microgrids to supplement vulnerable

electricity grids in many regions, but distributed point-of-use wind has remained an untapped market due to the weaknesses of distributed wind solutions. Enter AeroMINE (Motionless INtegrated Extraction). This stationary wind harvester can provide distributed electricity generation with no external moving parts. In 2020-2021, the LDRD project team, which included Texas Tech University and Westergaard Solutions Inc., built a pilot-scale (3 meters tall) AeroMINE at the Sandia Scaled Wind Farm Technology facility in Lubbock, Texas. Intern Elizabeth Krath, who has since joined Sandia as a postdoc to work on HydroMINE optimization, researched the optimal internal turbine design. Because AeroMINEs are incredibly resilient to environmental factors and require only minimal training to install, they can provide distributed wind-based power in underserved communities like coastal Alaska, the Arctic, and remote forward operating bases. Major project outcomes include the proof-of-concept at scale, the demonstration of negligible dependence to more than 30 degrees off-axis wind direction in low wind conditions, a 2021 R&D 100 Award, and a patent award (US 11,047,360 B1). (PI: Brent Houchens) Watch the YouTube video.

Pilot-scale testing of a 3 meters (10 feet) tall AeroMINE at SWiFT shown

from (a) in front and (b) behind.



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