Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Obtaining precise wind energy data isn't easy

Wind power is one of the fastest growing renewable energy sectors in the world but wind turbines still need to improve their efficiency in order to challenge fossil fuels. This is the main reason why wind energy developers need to ensure that wind turbines are optimally positioned and dimensioned. Only this can guarantee maximum wind energy output from certain site.

There are several important factors that wind energy developers must consider in order to make wind farm as efficient as possible, especially what kind wind speeds predominate at the site, and also what kind of turbulence is to be expected.

Obtaining precise data is not easy because even topography of site has major impact on wind conditions, for instance forests and hills can significantly hamper the analysis of wind conditions (trees decelerate ground-level winds and create turbulence) so it's really hard to obtain perfect precision in measuring projected wind power output.

In order to obtain more accurate wind energy forecasts German researchers have installed at the beginning of this year, a 200-meter high wind measuring mast on a tree-covered hill not far from Kassel. For the last 8 months this mast was taking measurements of wind speeds, turbulence, as well as additional meteorological data. This is currently the Europe's tallest measuring mast for wind energy.

The researchers still have plenty to learn about wind energy. They hope that measurements from this mast could give wind energy developers crucial info about the correct height to build turbines as well as answer different design issues in order to ensure that turbines are designed with no greater mass than necessary, in order to decrease general costs.

Wind turbines need improvement in both efficiency as well as costs. With the help of new promising technologies such as using this wind measuring mast wind energy sector should become much more competitive with fossil fuels and become one of the leaders in transition to renewable energy economy.