More than a decade ago, an aerospace engineer and his team at the Lockheed Martin Corp. built a prototype of the first commercially available wind turbine, using a new material called insulation foam.
Now, a new study has found that insulation foam is also an energy-saving material.
The new study, published today in the journal Applied Physics Letters, is the first to show that insulation has a number of benefits over other renewable energy materials.
“It is a really compelling technology to have,” said co-author and aerospace engineer Robert Cavanagh, who helped lead the research.
“If you’re looking at energy efficiency in the U.S. or Europe, it is a huge opportunity.
It’s not just going to solve a problem.
It can solve the biggest problem that you face in a building today.”
Inventor of insulation foam, Robert Cavenagh, and his colleagues at Lockheed Martin, build wind turbines in their facility in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The research showed that insulation was more energy-efficient than other renewable materials when used in wind turbines.
(AP Photo/Mike Alarcon) In addition, the insulation foam used in these wind turbines has a lower heat capacity than other materials used in the construction of wind turbines, so the researchers estimated that the insulation would actually reduce the energy cost of the wind turbine.
“The paper is the most comprehensive study of the energy-efficiency of insulation materials,” said Kevin O’Sullivan, an associate professor at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the research but who specializes in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“We found that they were better than all the other renewable technologies.
It is really a breakthrough for the field of energy efficiency.”
The study used a number on insulation foam research done by Lockheed Martin to create a new type of insulation called “snowflakes,” which are similar to those found in a number known as insulation blankets, which are made from other renewable material such as pine and birch.
Snowflakes are lighter, thinner and more compact than other insulation materials.
The scientists then used the foam and the snowflakes to build the largest wind turbine ever built in North America.
The wind turbines weigh less than 200 pounds, and the scientists found that the wind turbines would last more than 1,000 years.
In addition to saving money on energy, the windmill also uses less energy than conventional wind turbines because the insulation does not absorb the energy from the wind, so it does not need to heat up the building.
“It’s very cool that you can actually get this energy from a wind turbine and then you can store it in the snow,” Cavanag said.
“This is really great news.
This is an incredible technology.”
The research was led by the Center for Wind and Renewable Energy at the National Renewable Electricity Laboratory, and was supported by a grant from the U,S.
Department of Energy.
The paper was written by Cavanaugh and researchers from the Center of Wind and Wind Energy at Lockheed.
It will be published online in the Journal of Applied Physics in 2018.