AUSTRALIAN RENEWABLE
ENERGY LABORATORY (AREL)

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) held in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021, also known as COP26, has shown the world leaders to take accelerated climate actions to reduce emissions. Clean technologies and solutions are the most affordable, accessible and attractive option before 2030 – beginning with power, road transport, steel, hydrogen and agriculture. Australian government’s goal is to achieve net zero emissions as soon as possible, and preferably by 2050. Renewable energy sources generate minimal to zero greenhouse emissions, helping to slow global warming and keep our environment cleaner for longer. Based on our expertise and research background, we have been conducting research projects in wind turbine technology, through designing, dynamic modelling, analysis, prototyping and testing of wind turbines.
AREL Members

A/Professor Jinchen Ji

Dynamics and control of nonlinear systems, coordination control of multi-agent systems, condition monitoring and fault diagnosis, fatigue analysis, and dynamics of predator-prey systems

Dr Kan Ye

Blade design, dynamics of offshore wind turbines, supporting platform design, field testing.

Dr Jingyang Zheng

fatigue analysis and fault diagnosis of main shaft bearings, offshore wind turbines.

Ms Qing Ni

Fault diagnosis, prognosis, machine learning, signal processing.

Dr Ke Feng

Dynamics, tribology, signal processing, and machine condition monitoring.

Ms Xin Hang

Fault diagnosis and dynamics analysis of offshore wind turbines.

Mr Mitchell C.

Prototype designing and testing, noise measurement and analysis

Mr James M.

Project and product development manager, mechanical engineer and compliance officer.

Project One – STEM Club
Automated solar panel sun tracking system
Outcomes
Research and development of a prototype system for solar panels to track the sun, increasing power output from each solar panel. Research, design and prototype a range of different design solutions. Once designs are prototyped each design is evaluated for effectiveness relative to static solar panels and other solutions currently available on the market.
Project Description

This project is designed to research the feasibility and sustainability of employing solar powered technologies as an energy source in households in Australia. This project focuses on using solar panels on an automated system, installed on the roofs of houses. This system will be intended to follow the path which yields maximum sunlight throughout the day, and to integrate it to a power storage system. The efficient automated system will be developed with a fixed-angle solar panel to allow for maximum energy retention and minimal power draw.

Research Deliverables
  • • Mechanical design and drawings for mounting/supporting automated systems
  • • Design of automatic control operations
  • • An industrial scale prototype of one automated mechanical system
  • • Evaluation of automatic control operations;
  • Project Two – STEM Club
    Smart Wind Turbines
    Research Outcomes
    A smart wind turbine and its supporting structures (prototype and proof-of-concept designs).
    DELIVERABLES
  • • Prototype and detailed proof-of-concept design of a smart wind turbine
  • • Prototype and detailed design of an optimized supporting system
  • • Automated system of smart wind turbine operation
  • Project Description

    Use of wind turbines for residential application is one of Australia’s main sources of renewable energy. However, at present, use of smart wind turbines to generate electricity efficiently is rare in Australia. Installing smart wind turbines on residential buildings has the potential to make a significant contribution to Australian government’s renewable energy targets.

    • 1) quiet operation, low noise, negligible vibration, environmental and social friendly;
    • 2) light weight, negligible impact on building roof-structures;
    • 3) few components, less maintenance and easy installation; and

    We aim to develop a smart wind energy system by addressing the above design considerations. Once this topic is successfully completed, two future research topics are planned:

    • 1) 3D modelling of wind resources (this will accurately predict the wind speed in any location); and
    • 2) Integrated design of traditional wind turbine into design of smart wind energy system.
    Project Three – STEM Club
    Rooftop Wind Turbines For Urban Areas
    Project Description

    Develop an innovative wind turbine for use in urban environments. Conventional and modern wind turbines are not designed to work with urban environments. We are currently develop a wind turbine specifically designed for use in urban areas, which is reliable, cost-effective, safe operation for urban environments. Initial calculation shows that the proposed turbine could prevent the annual emission of 0.98 tons of CO2 to the environment.

    Project Four – STEM Club
    Fatigue analysis and remaining life prediction
    Project Description

    Use both conventional and artificial intelligence methods to perform fault diagnosis of gearbox in in-direct drive wind turbines, and fault diagnosis of main shaft bearings in direct-drive wind turbines. Develop both physical model and digital-twin model for remote fault diagnosis.

    Project Five – STEM Club
    Fault Diagnosis Of Wind Turbine
    Project Description

    Use advanced fatigue analysis theories and artificial intelligent methods to carry out fatigue analysis and remaining life prediction for offshore wind turbines. Develop smart intelligent monitoring system for smart maintenance scheduling, enabling prognostics-enabled decision making.

    Research Collaboration
    Project Description

    We have been collaborating with top researchers from universities, architecture designers, and builders to develop wind turbines. One of our current projects is to develop a reliable, cost-effective and efficient wind turbine for use in urban environments. We warmly welcome any kind of research collaborations from industries, research institutes, and government agencies.

    Academic Contributions
    • [1].