delware environmental institute

Lewes turbine corrosion research could benefit global wind industry

Lewes turbine corrosion research could benefit global wind industry

The ocean's powerful winds make the coast an ideal location for a wind turbine. Ironically, it's that ocean air that presents a challenge to any turbine on or near the sea. The moist, salty air combined with a turbine's metallic materials can result in corrosion, a destructive process able to bring any power-generating source to a halt.

Stephen Dexter, professor of marine biosciences in the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), is working to address this threat to renewable energy production. He is overseeing a two-year, Department of Energy-supported corrosivity study at the site of UD's wind turbine, located at UD's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.

“One of the primary reasons UD constructed the 2-megawatt wind turbine in 2010 was to facilitate scientific study of specific issues with this renewable energy source,” CEOE Dean Nancy Targett said. “This is one of multiple projects fulfilling that purpose and one that could benefit Delaware's pursuits in wind energy as well as those around the country and the globe.” (full article)