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Automation Can Minimise Cost of Energy

Deplano fig 1An Online Application to Remotely Select Wind Farm Sites with Suitable Geography

Spottitt is an online application that can seamlessly search and access up-to-date satellite imagery and data in order to perform industry-standard analyses that are currently executed manually. This article describes how Spottitt works and also outlines the advantages derived from the use of fully automated on-demand satellite image and data analyses, in terms of saving time and money, as well as minimising errors and human intervention.

By Marcello Deplano, CMO, Spottitt, UK

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Wind-Powered On-Site Hydrogen Production and Refuelling Stations

Figure 1 NikosGIS Shows Us How Many Could Be Realised

For a hydrogen economy, hydrogen refuelling stations will be needed to provide fuel for vehicles. This could easily be done by retrofitting existing fuel stations. Some of these are located away from urban centres or outside populated areas. On-site wind-powered water electrolysis is a potential solution. The advantage is cost allocation, due to integration of systems with current infrastructures and effective use of energy. In order to estimate the potential of this application, GIS could be used to give us an answer on which to base further system developments. Maps containing road networks, land, wind and station data could be layered and analysed. At TU Delft, Professor Ad van Wijk and PhD student Nikolaos Chrysochoidis-Antsos are working on developing these maps and alternative wind-powered hydrogen production and refuelling concepts.

By Nikolaos Chrysochoidis-Antsos, Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands

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Intelligent Airborne Inspection

Providing Quality Assurance Over the Lifetime

Aero Enterprise fig 1The standard inspection method for quality assurance of the exterior surfaces of wind turbines is to employ people trained as rope access or industrial climbers. But this is not the only way. This article, by Robert Hörmann of Aero Enterprise in Austria, outlines (using his company’s products) how drones can undertake visual inspection of turbines, and then supporting software and archiving can be used to analyse the data. As the author admits, drones and airborne access will never be a complete substitute for manned inspection, and there will always be the need for rope access workers, but he shows that there are many advantages to drone-based inspection together with software analysis and archiving.

By Robert Hörmann, CEO/CTO and Founder of Aero Enterprise, Austria

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Precast Braced Foundations

Towards a Significant CoE Reduction

Esteyco Figure 1The auction system is leading to reductions in the price of energy worldwide. At present every competitor involved in the sector is focusing on maximising energy production while trying to minimise the investment needed for this purpose. One of the trends is the use of higher towers and more powerful turbines. This leads to an increase of foundation loads, and hence higher volumes of concrete on regular shallow slab foundations. Nowadays values around 400–450 cubic metres of concrete per wind turbine generator (WTG) foundation are common and therefore efforts are being made to reduce both this concrete volume and the amount of reinforcing steel in the WTG foundations. So far, most of the innovative solutions have not had a significant penetration into the market since although there were material savings there were also much higher execution costs as well as longer construction schedules.

By Ramón López Mendizabal, Esteyco Energía, Spain

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Extending the Life of Gearboxes and Bearings

 

Rewitec 1a Rewitec 1b  

The Use of Nano- and Micro-sized Particle-Based Lubricant Additives

Nano- and micro-sized particle-based lubricant additives are used in wind turbine applications, and also in engines, gears and bearings in different industry sectors such as cement, steel, mining, maritime and automotive around the world. Treated machinery, gearboxes and bearings can run better with reduced friction and temperature and greater reliability and durability due to reduced abrasion and wear. Rewitec is an independent, medium-sized business that develops such additives, and in this article its Managing Director Stefan Bill describes how the company’s products have undergone tribological tests and been shown to provide life extension upgrades.

By Stefan Bill, Rewitec, Germany

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Remote Sensing in Cold Climates

Vaisala Oct fig 1Proven Practices for Optimal Results

Onshore wind farm developers are increasingly looking to cold climate regions around the globe for various reasons, including the strength of the available resource and low population density. However, carrying out high-quality measurement campaigns in cold climates poses a number of unique challenges for developers.

By Juha Paldanius and Nihat Hunerli, Vaisala, Hamburg, Germany

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Innovative Blade Tips for Wind Turbines

ECN 1What do Shark Fins, Winglets and Turbulators Have in Common?

Ambitions and developments in offshore wind energy have forced us to re-evaluate our approach and methods in wind turbine blade design once more. With the ultimate goal of reducing the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) through optimised tip design, the InnoTip research project ran as a collaboration between LM Wind Power’s aerodynamics team and ECN. During this project three new tip designs were delivered and two were tested by extending the blades on ECN’s 2.5MW test turbines with a temporary add-on tip extension – a unique process.

By Ozlem Ceyhan Yilmaz, ECN, The Netherlands and Jordy van Kalken, LM Wind Power, Denmark

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