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A Large Turbulent Wind Tunnel

ForWind 1Turbulence and Wind Energy Research in the Wind Tunnel at ForWind
To optimise wind turbines and entire wind farms and extend their lifetime, new technologies and control techniques are being investigated at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, as part of the Center for Wind Energy Research (ForWind). Many turbulent flow phenomena and the resulting problems in the operation of wind turbines can be calculated with computer models only approximately. Therefore, wind energy research in this area is reliant on experiments. For this purpose, a turbulent wind tunnel has been available in the Research Laboratory for Turbulence and Wind Energy Systems in Oldenburg since December 2017. In this wind tunnel, it is possible to test different control concepts very quickly and under different flow conditions.
 
By Dr Gerd Gülker, Dr Michael Hölling and Dr Vlaho Petrović, ForWind, Germany

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Icing on Drones and Wind Turbines

NTNU Figure 1Similarities and Mutual Benefits
A topic that has recently become a focus of research is icing on unmanned aerial vehicles, which in everyday language are known as drones. The wind power industry has a lot to gain from drone icing research. In this article, I will show that there are many similarities between icing on drones and icing on wind turbines in cold climates. The physics of ice accretion on these is very similar, which means that tools validated for drone icing will also be applicable to wind turbine icing. I will also give examples of how drones can be used practically to deal with the challenges of cold climate wind energy, for example to detect icing and even to de-ice turbines.
 
By Richard Hann, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

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Trends, Challenges and Opportunities Related To Ultra-Long Wind Turbine Blades

LM Figure 1Growing Pains and Gains
As wind turbine blade length increases, an array of challenges arise – from the industrialisation of blade production, to the transport, handling and testing of highly-engineered objects greater than 80 metres in length. At the same time, the benefits of long blades are clear, with a 10% increase in rotor diameter providing a 10% increase in annual energy production (AEP) from a wind turbine. Increasing rotor performance, and thus AEP, is the most direct way to decrease the cost of wind energy. John Korsgaard, LM Wind Power’s Senior Director of Engineering Excellence, explores the trend towards ultra-long blades to take on the ultimate question: Is there a limit to the size of a wind turbine?
 
By John Korsgaard, LM Wind Power, Denmark

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Acoustic Impact Studies of Wind Farms

GonzalezPrevention is Better than Cure
There is still disagreement around the world about the prediction of sound pressure levels due to the operation of large wind turbines. There are different points of view not only about the prediction methods but also about how to build the baseline. The best guarantees for both wind farm operators and neighbours are achieved when the most exhaustive baseline studies are carried out. This article aims to present the main contents of an acoustic impact study for a projected wind farm.
 
By Alice Elizabeth González, Pablo Gianoli Kovar and Luciana Olazábal Barrios, Uruguay

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Life Extension of Main Shafts

Tecnalia Figure 1Autonomous Ultrasonic Condition Monitoring of Main Shafts
 
The wind sector context and situation in Spain favours the life extension of wind farms over repowering, so the search for new and innovative solutions for extending the operating life of wind turbines, while keeping the maintenance costs at acceptable levels, is the focus of many wind sector stakeholders. The embedding of autonomous and smart sensing technologies in wind turbine components is a current technological trend that allows the online condition monitoring of turbine structural integrity and the optimisation of operational life and maintenance costs. In this context, Tecnalia presents LEO, an autonomous ultrasonic monitoring system for main shafts, which has been validated in the field and is currently in operation in several wind turbines in Spain.
 
By Jokin Rubio Botía and Nekane Galarza, Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Spain

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Using Polyester Resins in Rotor Blades

WE4CE fig 1A Cost Reduction Opportunity?
 
A case study performed within We4Ce shows a blade cost reduction opportunity for polyester resins in rotor blades. However, will this cost reduction for the blade also lead to a lower cost of energy?
 
By Edo Kuipers, Engineering Manager, We4Ce, The Netherlands

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Ice Throw Risk Assessments

Boku fig01Variables, Margins and Their Impact
 
The International Energy Agency’s Wind Technology Collaboration Programme Task 19 ‘International Recommendations for Ice Fall and Ice Throw Risk Assessments’, published in October 2018, gives a comprehensive overview of the necessary parts of a risk assessment and will hopefully form the basis for a future standard. Although it was obviously created with great care, the variables involved still leave considerable leeway for the results.
 
By Markus Drapalik, Institute of Safety and Risk Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

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