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					Alex Slocum

Who he is:
    Professor Alex Slocum’s research interests include
    nanotechnology, precision engineering, machine
    design and product design. A faculty member in
    MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering,
    Slocum is a self-described “gizmologist”
    who designs machines ranging from medical
    instruments to manufacturing equipment to big
    renewable energy machines. He received his BS,
    MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering
    from MIT.

What research he is demonstrating:
    Professor Slocum will demonstrate an offshore renewable energy system for generation and
    storage, in which excess power from a wind turbine pumps water out of a storage vessel
    anchored to the seabed. The technology operates by having water flow through a turbine into
    the storage volume when the power is needed.

Why it matters:
    This storage system enables offshore power generation when the wind is not blowing and power
    is needed, and can also be used for mooring a floating wind turbine. Storage is a key enabling
    technology for intermittent renewables such as wind.

Next steps:
    Slocum and his colleagues plan to make a test system consisting of a 10 kW windmill mounted
    on a barge, where the power would be stored onboard. Once the concept is proven at this scale,
    they would move to a 100 kW machine, and then a 1 MW machine. Ultimately, they hope
    to combine this proposal with a novel system for mounting offshore windmills that is being
    developed by MIT professor Paul Sclavounos.

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