Boosting wind research in Europe

An EU-funded project is helping to unveil the first European research infrastructure in the field of wind energy. This research facility in Denmark should facilitate researchers in their quest to measure and understand the 3D and time-varying wind fields.

Accelerating renewable energy deployment requires a substantial increase in installed wind power capacity. In its updated Roadmap 2010, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) has identified 50 new research infrastructures or major upgrades of existing ones. Under the Innovation Union initiative, the EU set itself the challenge of launching the construction of 60 % of these priority European research infrastructures by 2015.

The EU-funded project ' - The European windscanner facility' (WINDSCANNER) aims to maintain European technological leadership in high-resolution remote sensing methodologies for full-scale real atmospheric wind and turbulence measurements.

WINDSCANNER involves a system that generates 3D detailed maps of wind conditions around either a single wind turbine or across a farm covering several square kilometres. Researchers are using laser-based devices called light detection and ranging (LIDARs). These send laser beams out into the air, and when they hit particles they are reflected back to the scanner. Information on these reflected beams provides information about wind conditions.

The WINDSCANNER facility should provide a number of important services for the scientific community. These include joint training and educational programmes for operating the WINDSCANNER system and a strategic approach for planning and implementing measurement campaigns. The first measurement campaign is being prepared at a test site in Germany, with six LIDARs that operate in parallel coupled to the 3D WINDSCANNER system.

Once completed, WINDSCANNER is expected to play a pivotal role in upgrading the European nodes with modern LIDAR technology. Furthermore, it should also help each of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) countries build their own national node facilities. Comprehensive databases will gather all of the wind data and provide site-specific information on wind conditions before on- and offshore wind turbines are created. The WINDSCANNER facility aspires to improve the modelling of local flow conditions, streamline wind turbines and reduce the costs of wind production.

last modification: 2015-03-24 14:39:36

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