Gulf Stream Marine Turbines
Even though the Gulf Stream is constrained between two bodies of land, the flow rate and location of peak velocity will change, based on seasonal and weather conditions. Professor Tang and her team are analyzing the application of autonomous turbines with so-called "swarm intelligence" that can navigate through the ocean currents, similar to a school of fish searching for food. Swarm intelligence can achieve two goals. One is to find the 'sweet spot' of the Gulf Stream, which is the location where the array will achieve maximum power output. The other goal is to find the array orientation and alignment that provides optimal efficiency.
Dr. Yan Tang's current research focus is on controls optimization, particularly bio-inspired optimal control and its applications in multiple autonomous vehicles and distributed energy systems.