Sandia Labs News Releases

Sen. Bingaman to speak at 2012 Wind Turbine Blade Workshop

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman will speak about the future of wind energy at the opening session of the nation’s only conference devoted to wind turbine blades sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories.

Sandia’s 2012 Wind Turbine Blade Workshop will be Wednesday through Friday, May 30-June 1, at the Embassy Suites Albuquerque.

The conference provides a collaborative venue for researchers and industry participants involved in blade design, analysis and manufacture.

“It has become a very highly anticipated event for all sectors of the industry,” said Sandia wind researcher and workshop organizer Todd Griffith.

Due to limited seating, media representatives wishing to attend all or part of the conference should contact Stephanie Holinka at (505) 284-9227 or by Wednesday, May 30, at 8 a.m.

Workshop organizers expect about 250 blade researchers, industry participants, government representatives, materials suppliers and consultants to participate.

The workshop has grown over the past decade and includes significant international participation, both in speakers and attendees.

“The European wind industry is particularly well-represented. Though the principal focus remains on supporting the U.S. wind industry, the workshop also brings in speakers from both the U.S. industry and other countries,” Griffith said.

Sandia offshore wind manager Daniel Laird said, “A growing portion of the workshop is devoted to technical issues and blade architectures related to offshore deployment, as the industry sees more activity in this area. The schedule includes significant discussions about blade testing, in light of Sandia’s recent announcement of its new SWIFT wind turbine testing facility being constructed in Lubbock, Texas.

The core workshop covers aerodynamics and blade design, design and analysis codes and materials. Other conference topics include sensors, inspection, radar and reliability.

Griffith said it’s fitting for Sandia to sponsor and organize a workshop focused on blades since a major focus of Sandia’s program has been on blade technology development.

Additionally, Sandia wind researcher Matt Barone will speak about his recently-funded project that seeks to evaluate vertical axis wind turbines for offshore wind production, an area of work in which Sandia has a history going back nearly 30 years.

The Wind Power Technologies group at Sandia conducts applied wind energy research aimed at increasing the viability of wind technology by improving turbine performance and reducing energy cost. The program is part of Sandia’s renewable energy portfolio, aimed at addressing the national energy challenge of increasing the use of low-carbon power generation.

The wind program consists of two major research areas: Low Wind Speed Technology (LWST) for onshore installations and offshore development. Sandia conducts Supporting Research and Technology (SR&T) for each of these areas.

Sandia participates in several public-private partnerships for large wind systems to achieve Department of Energy (DOE) goals. Sandia’s work focuses on blade design and manufacturing.

Sandia supports the offshore program and industry by investigating both novel large blade architectures and quantifying the design challenges (wind and wave loading) associated with deploying offshore turbines.

More information about Sandia’s wind program, registration details and an updated preliminary agenda are available online.

Sandia’s wind power research program is funded by the DOE.

This is the fifth time Sandia has held its blade workshop, which rotates yearly with a turbine reliability workshop, also sponsored by Sandia.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Stephanie Holinka,, (505) 284-9227