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Hydropneumatic Energy Storage

Flasc Figure 1A Sustainable Solution for Offshore Wind
Energy storage technologies will be crucial in overcoming one of the most challenging barriers to high renewable energy penetration, i.e. the mismatch between renewable energy supply and consumer demand. Ongoing work is focused on the development of a hydropneumatic energy storage technology, tailored for offshore applications, referred to as FLASC. Whether connecting offshore renewables to onshore grids or to energy-intensive oil and gas infrastructure, the technology is designed to act as an energy buffer, eliminating intermittency and delivering a schedulable energy output. The technology itself combines pressurised seawater and compressed air in a liquid piston embodiment. It avoids hazardous chemicals and is designed for a long lifetime (+25 years), independent of the charging/discharging regime. A small-scale prototype was deployed in the Grand Harbour of the central Mediterranean island of Malta. Having completed over 300 charging cycles, the prototype is the ultimate proof of concept of the technology and sets the foundation for future development leading to commercial applications.
 
By Daniel Buhagiar, Co-Founder FLASC and Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Malta

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Intertidal Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Mapping with Drones

Drone-Borne Magnetic Technologies Provide New Opportunities for Mapping of UXO
Umag Figure 1Clearing of unexploded ordnance (UXO) is critical for the safe construction of offshore wind farms in old war zones. While most UXO is ferrous, the preferred mapping technique is by magnetic sensors. These are towed behind vessels in the offshore area, while a combination of small survey boats, all-terrain vehicles and walking personnel are often used to cover the near- and onshore cable landing point area. However, intertidal zones, such as the edges around the North Sea, are notoriously difficult to access by traditional mapping platforms. As a consequence, mapping of intertidal UXO is often incomplete and imprecise, which causes delays during the UXO clearing operation or, worse, safety issues and delays once the construction of the wind farm has begun. In this article, we present a case study by UMag Solutions and Ørsted from Hornsea II in the UK and explain the power of drone-borne magnetic mapping of intertidal UXO.
 
By Arne Døssing Andreasen, CEO, UMag Solutions, Denmark

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The Case for Routine Blade Inspections

SkySpecs 1How Do We Determine Optimal Inspection Frequency?
The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – a 16-fold return on investment in this case – is severely conservative when it comes to maintenance of wind turbine rotor blades. The cost of repairing early-stage damage – or even better, implementing remediation solutions for serial issues before damage occurs in most blades – is often minuscule compared with the cost of a single catastrophic failure. Within the next few years, the industry must evolve to a practice of routine scheduled inspections followed by proactive repair and remediation in order to minimise the life-cycle cost of ownership.
 
By Dr Kyle Wetzel, Vice President Blade Services, SkySpecs, USA

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Impact of Climate Change on Wind Energy Generation in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Figure 1Effect of Climate Change on Global Wind Speed
The northwestern coastal area of Sri Lanka is identified as a region with substantial wind power potential. Its favourable geographical location and terrain contribute to higher wind power generation there. Presently, the Sri Lankan government is promoting wind power generation in the country. Long-term power generation predictions are required for evaluating the financial viability of wind power plants. Therefore, the impact of climate change on wind power generation is significant. Wind and climate variability are inextricably interconnected. However, although much attention is given to the potential effects of climate change on surface temperatures and precipitation, there has been comparatively minor discussion or analysis of changes in wind speed.
 
By Mahinsasa Narayana and Kethaki Wickramaarachchi, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

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From Seabed to Splash Zone

MarynSol 01 AUV USV moasicAutonomous Inspection of Offshore Turbine Marine Structures
Inspection of marine foundation structures and the immediate surrounding seabed is technically challenging, time-consuming and costly. Subsea inspection techniques draw more on the technology and procedures of other offshore sectors than on those of onshore wind. The inaccessibility of subsea structures means that maintenance checks are performed much less frequently than on the above-water components. Seabed scour is a stability issue around large pile/jacket structures, particularly in strong tidal flows. There are many potential risks associated with personnel and vessels working in close proximity to turbine structures for the extended periods needed for inspections. MarynSol is working to introduce viable, cost-effective solutions to the autonomous inspection of marine foundation structures, from seabed to splash zone.
 
By Jonathan Evans, Director, MarynSol, UK

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What Your SCADA Data Does Not Tell You

Renewable Dynamics Picture 1An Insight Into the Potential of Better Data
Wind farms are equipped with a SCADA system to monitor and collect data from the wind turbines. It is industry practice to collect data in 10-minute intervals and convert this data into specific statistics – the average, and in some cases, the maximum/minimum and standard deviation. Due to the dynamics of wind turbines, many underlying issues cannot be detected by an analysis of these statistics. This article discusses how the frequency of the dynamics of wind turbines is much higher than 10 minutes, and hence damaging behaviour and abnormalities cannot be identified with traditional SCADA data. The article also explores some examples of what could be achieved if data with a higher sampling rate is available.
 
By Carlos Gonzalez, Technical Director, Renewable Dynamics, Scotland

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High Performance Wind Tunnel Testing

New Poul la Cour Tunnel at DTU Risø
DTU PC fig 1There are many tools available to the wind turbine engineer in the pursuit of the understanding and optimisation of wind turbine blade aerodynamics. One of the most important (and sought after) is a high Reynolds number wind tunnel, which is an invaluable tool for validating computational models and cost-effectively simulating complex aerodynamic problems. In April 2018, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) inaugurated the Poul la Cour Tunnel at its Risø campus. The tunnel is one of the largest university-owned tunnels in the world and is dedicated to wind energy research. Together with the Danish aerodynamic upgrade company Power Curve, DTU is carrying out fundamental research into the impact of blade contamination on turbine performance and the mitigation impact of aerodynamic devices such as vortex generators.
 
By Nicholas Gaudern, Chief Technical Officer, Power Curve, Denmark

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