The US Department of Energy (DOE) has allocated $45 million to advance wind and water energy projects through research and development of 3D printing technologies. This move is consistent with the goals of the Biden-Harris administration to promote clean energy production and build a national supply grid. The funding will be distributed in two areas: 3D printed hydroelectricity technology and the sustainable production of wind turbine equipment through additive manufacturing.
The hydroelectricity-focused project is led by GE Research, a major company in the field of additive manufacturing and wind turbine construction. Its purpose is to create tools that increase efficiency and reduce waste in the production process. By incorporating robotic welding methods and digital foundry, GE Research estimates a 20% reduction in production costs and a four-month reduction in construction time for hydroelectric machines. This research project also hopes to enable metal 3D printing of large-scale components within the country.
The second set of projects focuses on wind power, in line with the administration’s goal of producing 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2030. Many universities, professional companies, and national laboratories are participating in the thirteen projects. His areas of focus include integrating additive manufacturing into the construction of large wind turbine blades, optimizing 3D printing practices for critical wind turbine components, and investigating digitalization, sustainability, and modularization. of wind turbine blades. wind turbine and components.
The DOE’s investment in domestic renewable energy development through 3D printing reflects the growing demand for components for wind and hydroelectric turbines. Forecasts show that this demand will increase fivefold in the next decade, as the United States prioritizes clean energy production and energy independence. DOE-funded research projects highlight the important role of 3D printing in sustainability efforts, addressing efficiency and flexibility in the energy sector.