Wednesday, 20 November 2013 - 10:36
Dutch Control System Boosts Wind Farms Output
Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) said its active wake control system can increase the electricity production of wind farms by 0.5 to 5%. Wind Farm / Flickr The system was tested on 5 wind turbines at ECN’s wind farm test site. The system could also reduce maintenance costs by 3%, ECN said in a statement. The research centre now plans to test the technology at an offshore wind farm to prove the benefits on a larger scale. “The next step is a large wind farm, preferably offshore. That is not a place where you want to experiment, which is why we have waited until the technique had proven itself,” Haico van der Heijden of ECN said. Through optimal positioning of the wind turbines, the patented system reduces the wake effects of turbulence. In a perfect line position, turbines produce 100% power, but also take a 100% load on axes and blades, ECN said. “When placed behind each other, the upstream turbine still produces 100% power, but the capacity of the downstream turbines is reduced to 60% or 50%. On top of this, wake effects caused by turbulence increase their load to 110% or 115% and maintenance costs rise proportionally,” ECN said. By changing the pitch angle and/or the yaw angle of the front turbine a few degrees, the turbulence is deflected/altered, thus reducing the load and increasing the power production of downstream turbines, according to ECN.