MAE Seminar: Optimization and Control of Wind Energy Systems

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Mario A. Rotea

Professor and Erik Jonsson Chair, Department Head of Mechanical Engineering
University of Texas, Dallas

Abstract: Wind technology is a major player in utility-scale renewable energy for the production of electricity around the globe. Many countries share the strategic goal of increasing the penetration of wind energy into the electric grids. In the U.S. alone, the goal is to increase from 82 gigawatts [GW] of wind power, supplying 5-6 percent of the electricity demand in 2016, to 400 GW of wind power contributing 35 percent of the electricity by 2050. Attaining this goal would require a continued decrease in the cost of wind power. Arguably, advanced modeling and simulation, flow monitoring and advanced controls are key to reducing the cost of wind energy. This talk will provide an overview of the work being done at the University of Texas, Dallas, in these areas. It will show how the convergence of high-fidelity simulations, reduced-order models, field measurements (blending LiDAR technology with SCADA and met tower data) and advanced controls may yield increases in annual energy production and reliability of wind turbines and wind farms, which are important factors in reducing the cost of wind energy.

Bio: Mario A. Rotea is the holder of the Erik Jonsson Chair in engineering and computer science at the University of Texas, Dallas, where he is also the department head of mechanical engineering. Rotea spent 17 years at Purdue University as a professor of aeronautics and astronautics, developing and teaching methods for the analysis and design of control systems. He also worked for the United Technologies Research Center as senior research engineer on advanced control systems for helicopters, gas turbines and machine tools. Rotea was the head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he expanded the department in the area of wind energy and applications of industrial engineering to the health care sector. His career includes terms as director of the control systems program and division director of engineering education and centers at the National Science Foundation. Rotea is cofounder of WindSTAR, an NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center aimed at bringing together academia and industry to advance wind energy through industry-relevant research and education. Rotea joined UT Dallas in 2009 to serve as professor and inaugural head of the then newly created mechanical engineering department. He directed the department’s rapid growth, increasing student enrollment from 10 students to more than 1,100 in 2017. Rotea is a fellow of the IEEE for contributions to robust and optimal control of multivariable systems. Rotea graduated with a degree in electronic engineering from the University of Rosario. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering and his doctorate in control science and dynamical systems from the University of Minnesota.