NEES @ UC San Diego

NEESR-II A Seismic Study of Wind Turbines for Renewable Energy (WTRU) (2010)

NEESR-II A Seismic Study of Wind Turbines for Renewable Energy (WTRU)Full Size


PI: A. Elgamal UC San Diego
Co-PI: C.M. Uang UC San Diego
Co-PI: J.P. Conte UC San Diego
Co-PI: J.E. Luco UC San Diego
Student: Ian Prowell UC San Diego

Contact Person:
Ahmed Elgamal,

Video Footage

The amount of electricity produced from the wind has steadily grown since its introduction in the 1980s and with the introduction of AB 32 is poised to grow substantially in California. Through support from the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) and specifically via the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) and Oak Creek Energy Systems (OCES), a Gigawatt Wind Energy pioneer, a multiyear investigation into the seismic behavior of wind turbines is underway at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

This original research started with a forced and ambient vibration monitoring program at Oak Creek Energy Systems (OCES) with the assistance of the University of California, Los Angles (UCLA) NEES equipment site (, Dr. Bob Nigbor, Director). Building on the inaugural UCSD NEES shake-table test under the direction of Prof. J. Restrepo, an upcoming expanded second phase of shake-table experimentation will explore the seismic response of an actual 65 kW turbine, standing over 80 feet tall, when subjected to strong earthquake motions. The NEES UCSD outdoor shake-table facility (, is the only location in the world that is capable of testing a full scale wind turbine.