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Windtech International July August 2024 issue






New Design Concepts

Every year the EWEA Annual Event brings together companies and individuals to play an active role in shaping the future of our industry and enabling the innovation today that is crucial for building a better tomorrow for wind energy. This year EWEA 2012 was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 16 till 19 April. Around 450 exhibitors from Europe and beyond presented themselves and about 10,000 visitors attended the event. On page 36 you will find a more comprehensive review of the show.

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In this issue we present several articles focused on new design concepts. These design concepts are about new tower designs (page 7), a different approach for lidar devices (page 25), using a weather model to optimise offshore wind plans (page 29) and challenges with developing wind farms in cold climate regions (page 32).

Researchers at Cleveland State University (CSU), an urban school in Cleveland, Ohio, have designed a wind tower system which is designed to facilitate the conversion of wind energy into useable electricity at locations where the wind speed is relatively low, and where conventional wind turbines do not yield significant amounts of electrical power. The wind tower system design concept focuses on the use of cylindrical wind-deflecting structures to increase wind speed as the stream of wind approaches the turbines.

Lidar and sodar devices are becoming more and more used in the industry and over the years we have published several articles about the different devices on the market. Recently, there has been a new player on the market, Pentalum, from Israel. Pentalum has developed a direct detection lidar technology device which, according to the company, provides an alternative to remote sensing of wind by incorporating high-precision measurement, a robust design and an affordable price tag.

A study from a team of engineers at Stanford University has harnessed a weather model to recommend optimal placement of four interconnected wind farms off the coast of the eastern USA. It is the first time anyone has used high-resolution meteorological data to plan the placement of an offshore wind grid. This sophistication has provided a deeper level of understanding to the grid plan. Also, an offshore grid as an extension of the onshore grid will improve reliability, while reducing congestion and energy price differences between areas.

In recent years many countries in Europe, Asia and North America have had to develop wind farms in cold climate regions. The main reasons for this choice are good wind energy resources at high altitudes (e.g. Switzerland with sites at 800 metres above sea level), and the higher installation and O&M costs for offshore when compared with land-based wind farms. This new development has brought some new challenges for designers, manufacturers and operators. One of these challenges is icing of the wind turbine blades and its effects on the aerodynamics and responses of the wind turbine. The article on page 32 addresses ice accretion on the blade and its effects on the aerodynamic properties of the rotor.

Enjoy reading

Floris Siteur
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