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With Vineyard Wind, the U.S. Finally Goes Big on Offshore Wind Power

The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project is the first large offshore wind farm in the U.S. It won’t be the last

3 min read
Photo-Illustration: Edmon de Haro
Photo-Illustration: Edmon de Haro
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Sometime in 2019, construction on Vineyard Wind, the first major offshore wind farm in the United States, will begin. Workers will start prepping a pair of undersea substations to be installed about 55 kilometers south of the Massachusetts mainland. A specially equipped trawler will lay undersea transmission cable between the site and a landfall on Cape Cod. The cable will connect to the switching station in Barnstable, and from there to the New England power grid.

Meanwhile, the first of 84 wind turbines, 9.5 megawatts each, from MHI Vestas will be shipped to the site and installed in an array that will populate a 650-square-kilometer expanse and generate some 800 MW. The exact timetable for all that work is uncertain, though. The developers—Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables—declined to be interviewed for this story.

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This Wearable Neck Patch Can Diagnose Concussions

Self-powered sensors convert neck strain into electrical pulses to detect head trauma in athletes

4 min read
image of back of man's head and shoulders with a patch taped to his lower neck; right image is a time lapse image of a man's head extending far forward and back, simulating a case of whiplash

The prototype patch in this research is shown in (a) on the left; on the right (b) is the kind of head rotation that can yield an electrical response from the patch.

Juan Pastrana

Nelson Sepúlveda was sitting in the stands at Spartan Stadium, watching his hometown Michigan State players bash heads with their cross-state football rivals from the University of Michigan, when he had a scientific epiphany.

Perhaps the nanotechnologies he had been working on for years—paper-thin devices known as ferroelectret nanogenerators that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy—could help save these athletes from the ravages of traumatic brain injury.

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Video Friday: PoKeBo Cubes

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

2 min read
A young girl looks at a cluster of three simple robots facing each other on a table

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

RoboCup 2022: 11 July–17 July 2022, BANGKOK
IEEE CASE 2022: 20 August–24 August 2022, MEXICO CITY
CLAWAR 2022: 12 September–14 September 2022, AZORES, PORTUGAL
ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals: 4 November–5 November 2022, LOS ANGELES
CoRL 2022: 14 December–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today’s videos!

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A Multiphysics Approach to Designing Fuel Cells for Electric Vehicles

White paper on fuel cell modeling and simulation

1 min read
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Comsol

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) often reach higher energy density and exhibit greater efficiency than battery EVs; however, they also have high manufacturing costs, limited service life, and relatively low power density.

Modeling and simulation can improve fuel cell design and optimize EV performance. Learn more in this white paper.