Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Cmon, it's time to talk about work again...

Hi guys,

Yes..it's been a long time since I talked about work...so, no escaping today. 

It's amazing, only one year has passed...fast like I don't know what..and I feel I have learned quite a lot. Well, but I'm still far from a relevant level...just 5 minutes of talking with any of my supervisors, at Trinity or Lloyd's to have my intelectual ego put at place again!

So, I started with a probabilistic assessment of the reliability methodologies used to analise offshore wind turbine towers and foundations, then I diverged to the analysis of external loads and how to extrapolate extreme events, with particular focus on significant wave heights. Currently I am again working on the turbine tower itself. 

For that I have been learning and working with an amazing open source software that probably all of you are working with wind turbines know about; FAST developed by NREL from United States. For  an open source software it's really capable. Basically, lets say its developers deserve a statue in the wind energy research world. Well, but not everything is a sea of flowers, it's learning curve can be quite harsh... 

Lloyd's has been a great "support" so far. It's really good to have this close contact from a company with so much experience. Only "seeing" everything from the university can be quite hard to get the real awareness of how things are processed in the business world. 

The analysis of turbine towers is straightforward but complex. They are calculated with the partial safety codes recommended in the standard and with support of several Design Load Cases (usually called DLC) to guide the designer. Of course these codes have a whole world of probabilistic assessment background.

No surprise that such a technological sector has such advanced techniques and a whole world of regulations behind. Well you know...its a big sector... usually, if  "mountains" are not moved that means that there is not enough money at stake...

Anyway, dark things aside, like in almost every field (and one of the reasons why there is all this ruckus around the research world and its inadaptability to real applications) there are still some gaps between the industrial world and the research world.

I am now focusing on how to define the failure of the offshore wind turbines, and the first thing I have seen....there are lot's of really interesting methods, with really huge potential to be applied in the analysis of offshore wind turbines. We are talking of methods that probably are able to acess the reliability of a wind turbine  for some of the more complicated DLC in less than one day.

Yet the industry still keeps analysing these same DLC in months or (more if multiple computers and processing methods are note use). What's wrong here?

I believe there is a big problem of perception...and I believe that almost everyone has this perception..so nothing new.

These amazing methodologies, sometimes, are not that tangible. But tangible approaches in their way may not be that interesting from the point of view of research. For companies is hard to put so much at stake risking with something that they "cannot" touch to some extent. So, where do we stay here? Well, approaches like TRUSS are looking directly to fill this space full of new blood (don't look at it with all that inovative sense, this is the gap were more money is being invested lately). Maybe we won't turn 10000 time domain simulations in 70, but if we can make it 2000 Wooww!

In the end, apart from all the critics to the research world and industrial world we listen around magazines, news, etc, I really believe everyone is really bringing their best to achieve new improvements.

And this applies to everything, is really easy to sit and criticize so much stuff...and you don't need to be at home in the coach...or be the Portuguese called "bench coaches" (ones that criticize without any responsability or are deeply destructive in their approach)  but also everyone in the profissional world, etc etc... So, be carefull with your approach if you in some sense feel that you don't know better, but deeply. And most of the times, if you really feel you know better, I would say you're wrong.

It gets always boring when the topic is work :) see you soon!

Anyway,the real question that I have been wondering lately is, who programs the traffic lights in Dublin?... talk about real crazy and full of adrenaline experiences...

1 comment:

  1. To your last question: I'm pretty sure they are programmed just 'randomly' :))