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Published: 10 November 2005 10 November 2005

A Successful First Year…

We all know how devastating hurricanes and typhoons can be. The disaster in the southern states of the USA earlier this year clearly pointed that out. There are wind farms built in regions that have to risk encounters with these kinds of weather systems.
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{access view=!registered}Only logged in users can view the full text of the article.{/access}{access view=registered}Given the destructive nature of hurricanes, gale force winds and tropical storms, it is crucial for safety reasons that potential offshore wind energy projects undergo extensive tests of the site-specific conditions. One of the 13 chapters of the new ‘Guideline for the Certification of Offshore Wind Turbines’, published by Germanischer Lloyd WindEnergie GmbH (GL Wind), deals exclusively with this site assessment and the resulting loads. The chapter defines the requirements for the determination of loads resulting from the environmental conditions in conjunction with the operational behaviour of an offshore wind turbine. These conditions include peak wind speeds caused by storms and rapid changes in wind speed and direction. These extreme conditions include the potential effects of wind turbulence. The offshore guideline covers general testing conditions, safety systems and the requirements for the manufacturing companies. Strength analyses, machinery components and electrical engineering are considered, as well as test requirements, periodic inspections and condition monitoring. Some projects have already been certified and/or are currently in the certification process according to the new guideline.

The guidelines focus primarily on offshore wind farms. But typhoons and hurricanes are not only dangerous offshore but on shore as well. Mr Wu Ming Yu from China studied the effects of the typhoon ‘Dujuan’, which occurred on 29 August 2003 on a wind farm located 40 to 50km away from the centre of the typhoon. The author undertook analysis of the available data and provides a discussion about the phenomena of the accident, the cause of the accident and the protective measures. As a result, the article on page 20 brings forward some issues that fellow designers need to consider.

The November/December issue will be the last issue of this year. I realise that 2005 has been a year of many changes, big and small, in the wind energy business. Looking back at the year we are very pleased with all the responses we have received regarding our new publication. I would like to thank all who have participated and supported us during this first and important year. Without your help Windtech International would not have been as successful as it is. But I know that it is not only the volatility of time that counts; the whole world is in motion and it is exciting to look forward to next year. What will 2006 bring us? Let’s see and discuss it next year!

Enjoy reading.

Floris Siteur
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