Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More accurate wind energy forecasts

Date:
September 10, 2012
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Wind power is one of the most important forms of renewable energy. In order to exploit inland wind as effectively as possible, turbines must be optimally positioned and dimensioned. A 200-meter high wind measuring mast delivers precise data that can also be used to forecast energy yields.

Specialists install the 200-meter high measuring mast.
Credit: Fraunhofer IWES / Klaus Otto

Wind power is one of the most important forms of renewable energy. In order to exploit inland wind as effectively as possible, turbines must be optimally positioned and dimensioned. A 200-meter high wind measuring mast delivers precise data that can also be used to forecast energy yields.

Related Articles


The decision has been taken by the German government to transform the energy system and phase out nuclear energy power. The transition process is gaining impetus but much remains to be done. During the course of which, the production of wind energy is to be dramatically expanded -- not only through costly offshore facilities, but onshore as well. "There is still immense potential inland that remains to be tapped, such as in the low mountain ranges," says Tobias Klaas, scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology IWES in Kassel. Klaas is also the head of the "Inland Wind Energy Use" research project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment.

To run a wind farm as efficiently as possible, planners must know in advance precisely what wind speeds predominate at the site, and what kind of turbulence is to be expected. The problem: "With conventional methods, it is almost impossible, or possible only at great effort and expense, to measure projected power when planning modern, large-scale facilities," says Klaas. Moreover, forests and hills hamper the analysis of wind conditions. Experts refer to this aspect as "complex terrain," where topography influences wind conditions, even at great heights.

Tallest wind measuring mast in Europe

For these reasons, Klaas and his colleagues at IWES erected a 200 meter wind measuring mast. Since January, on a tree-covered hill not far from Kassel, they have been taking measurements of wind speeds, turbulence and additional meteorological data. It is Europe's tallest measuring mast for wind energy. Conventional masts are only about 100 meters in height. The rotor blade of a modern turbine, however, easily reaches double that height. As astonishing as it may sound: Scientists know little about the dynamics of wind conditions up there. "Indeed, there are theories about how wind speed increases with height, yet these no longer apply at such great heights. Hence, actual measurement values are needed to further develop the models," explains Klaas.

For instance, trees decelerate ground-level winds and create turbulence, and it was previously not possible to draw readily available conclusions about the conditions at the upper regions based on these data. Thanks to the Fraunhofer researchers' measuring mast, this can now be done. Using ultrasound anemometers (special wind gauges), it records, in spatial terms, how fast and in which direction the wind is blowing, thereby rendering a precise depiction of the turbulence. Conventional vane anemometers moreover establish wind speed and direction at various heights. They additionally measure other meteorological factors, like air pressure, humidity and temperature. The figures on precipitation amounts and the duration of sunshine complete the data set. "We have achieved a unique sensory device that allows us to determine the impact of these parameters on wind conditions," says Klaas.

The detailed measurements not only help in the optimal alignment of wind turbines, but also in determining the appropriate dimensions. This is the precondition for ensuring, for example, that the turbines are built at the correct height and designed with no greater mass than necessary, which saves on expenses.

With the aid of the wind measuring mast, it should additionally be possible to develop standards for LIDAR (light detection and ranging), the new ground-based remote measurement process. The laser-optical measurement process is considered the key to wind profile measurements up to heights of several hundred meters. Due to the lack of standards, LIDAR remains unapproved as the sole measurement process for expert reports on wind, which are the basis for yield calculations. If successfully granted one day, thanks to the Fraunhofer measuring mast, then such approval would make expert reports on wind superfluous, because LIDAR would render measuring masts obsolete.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "More accurate wind energy forecasts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910112354.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2012, September 10). More accurate wind energy forecasts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910112354.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "More accurate wind energy forecasts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910112354.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins