Texas Tech University

Renewables Based Energy

solar panel and wind turbine

Renewable Energy, also known as “Clean Energy,” is the use of natural resources or processes for the creation of energy including wind, sunlight, and water. Research in renewable energy at Texas Tech specifically includes the study of wind and solar energy production sources, due to Texas Tech's unique location in West Texas which receives an average of 260 days of sunshine each year and ranks as one of the windiest locations in the US. Given the windy location, the study of wind energy at Texas Tech particularly includes measurement and prediction of wind resources and flow fields contributing to real-time controls.


Texas Tech researchers have strong research interests in the following areas:

  • Wind flow characterization
  • Wind hazards
  • Turbine inflow/wake flow
  • Atmospheric observing technologies
  • Wind engineering
  • Wind power meteorology
  • Weather forecasting synthesis
  • Ex and in situ characterization of supported oxide catalysts employed for direct upgrading of natural gas molecules, namely methane and light alkanes
  • Energy & sustainability
  • Renewable energy storage
  • Novel separation process (water/energy)
  • Thermochemical energy storage
  • Chemical process intensification alternative energy particularly solar energy harvesting & hydrogen production, co2 mitigation, chemical process simulation
  • High energy fluid mechanics,
  • Breakdown and control of vortex structures
  • Fixed-wing and rotating blade aerodynamics
  • Wind energy
  • Turbines
  • Solar ponds
  • Wind power
  • Forecasting
  • Focus on using the Texas Tech Ka-band pulse compression
  • Doppler radar systems to assess complex boundary layer flows associated with wind turbine wakes
  • Designed & built Texas Tech's Ka band pulse compression radar systems
  • Boundary layer meteorology: kinematics and thermodynamics of the atmospheric boundary layer, diurnal evolution, aerosol-cloud microphysics and convection initiation
  • Ground-based, airborne and satellite borne observations of boundary layer physics and land-atmosphere interaction
  • Wind energy applications
  • Biosphere-atmospheric interaction with special emphasis on carbon cycle

Infrastructure & Facilities 

  • National Wind Institute: The National Wind Institute (NWI) works to solve some of society's most complex problems by supporting convergent research in Energy Systems, Wind Engineering, and Measurement and Simulation. NWI focuses on breaking traditional disciplinary boundaries, assimilating new and diverse ideas, supporting the development and execution of large, game-changing research concepts, and cultivating the next generation of leaders.
  • West Texas Mesonet: The mesonet site is the National Wind Institute's 135th station that provides 29 different parameters to help researchers and meteorologists continually track weather conditions.
  • TTUKa radars: In the spring of 2006, Texas Tech was awarded a proposal for two Ka-band Doppler radar trucks. The first Ka-band Doppler radar truck was completed in June of 2009 and the second was finished in the spring of 2010. The trucks collect high resolution data in multiple atmospheric phenomena to benefit both the atmospheric science and wind engineering research communities. Both systems have been deployed in numerous field campaigns since their inception.
  • DOE-X Prototype Radar: The DOE-X radar prototype was originally developed to advance wind plant complex flow measurements. The specialized radar has also been used for atmospheric and defense-related research agendas. Relative to other "off the shelf" radar technologies, the Texas Tech-specialized transmitter and receiver chains were specifically designed to enhance data availability in non-precipitating atmospheres. It provides enhanced signal quality in clear air (i.e., non-precipitating) environments, mitigated atmospheric attenuation, and extends the useful range of data collection to beyond 30km in cooperative atmospheric conditions.
  • SODAR: Sonic Detection and Ranging (SODAR) are acoustic radars that are available to evaluate low-level atmospheric stability and wind characteristics. The SODAR network is used for high resolution short-term wind forecasts and measures wind at different levels. Wind speed tends to have different speeds at different heights from the ground, which is useful for building safe structures and for use in academic and real-world projects. Six SCINTEC flat panel array units have been installed across West Texas and are part of the West Texas Mesonet (WTM) system. SODAR units have been integrated with the WTM system to provide elevated measurements for high-resolution, short-term ensemble wind forecasts. The SODARs run 10-minute scans at 10-m bin spacing. The first bin is at 30 meters above ground level (AGL) with wind speed and direction date available up to a maximum height of 380 meters AGL.
  • LIDAR Remote Sensing