More accurate North Sea wind information cuts cost of offshore wind energy

Monday, 6 November, 2017 - 14:45

ECN, KNMI and Whiffle are working on a new atlas featuring accurate information about North Sea winds for use in wind energy applications. Clarity with regard to the average amount of wind and how often wind speeds reach extreme levels will enable a more accurate estimate of how much wind energy you can generate and how robust wind turbines need to be made to prevent damage or failure. Greater certainty about the potential performance of your wind farm also makes it possible to secure cheaper loans from investors. This reduces the cost of offshore wind energy, a key target set by the Dutch government.

ECN, KNMI (the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) and Whiffle (a Delft University of Technology spin-off) are combining their expertise in the DOWA (Dutch Offshore Wind Atlas) project that was launched in June 2017 and will last until December 2019. Although all of the parties have knowledge of wind conditions and wind energy, each will contribute their own specific expertise. KNMI will bring its specialist wind climate knowledge and particularly the calculation of mean wind speeds and extremes with the help of weather models, Whiffle has developed software that can calculate local wind information at a very high resolution and ECN has specific knowledge of the wind conditions affecting wind turbines and wind farms.

As part of the DOWA project, the existing KNMI North Sea Wind (KNW) atlas cataloguing wind information up to an altitude of 200 m will be extended to include information from 2014 until now, enabling the dataset to be used to predict wind energy production in wind farms now in the planning phase. In addition, a new atlas will be compiled, known as the Dutch Offshore Wind Atlas (DOWA). Based on improved models and methods, it uses accurate wind measurements from aircraft and satellites that have not been used before. The new atlas will more effectively chart changes in the wind within a 24-hour period (day/night) and provide wind information from layers of air at a higher altitude (600m). In addition, the Whiffle software makes it possible to extrapolate extremely accurate wind information from the information in the DOWA. The DOWA project will also focus on the wind in the lee of an individual wind turbine or complete wind farm. Especially for the DOWA project, ECN has purchased LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) equipment that makes it possible to use laser to scan wind fields at an altitude of several kilometres. As wind turbines increase in size, wind measurements at greater altitudes are becoming increasingly important.

The DOWA-project has been commissioned by the Dutch national government. The aim is for the information in the updated KNW atlas and the new DOWA to be available for use in tenders for new offshore wind farms off the southern Holland coast (Scheveningen) and the coast further north (Egmond).

Source: ECN

Similar Entries

(l to r): Austin Coughlan, Head of Temporis Aurora Fund and Director of Inis Offshore Wind;  Vanessa O’Connell, Head of Inis Offshore Wind and Aoife Galvin, Senior Offshore Project Manager, Inis Offshore Wind, who joined from ESB (pict. ReputationInc)

Temporis Investment Management (“Temporis”) has on October 11th announced the launch of Inis Offshore Wind, a new Irish renewable energy firm with plans to develop at least 1GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. This would constitute a significant contribution to Ireland’s offshore wind targets and provide enough electricity to power over 800,000 homes.

Edda Wind - Offshore Wind Service Vessels

Following the receipt of equipment orders for four offshore wind service vessels announced in May 2020, MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has received an additional order for another two Commissioning Service Operation Vessels (CSOV) that will further expand the Østensjø Rederi Edda Wind fleet.

Strohm and Siemens Gamesa collaborate on offshore green hydrogen solutions (pict. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy)

Strohm, the world's first and leading manufacturer of fully bonded, Thermoplastic Composite Pipe (TCP), has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, the global market leader in offshore wind.

Norwind Offshore. from left:: Maren Kleven Fox, Magnus Kleven, Sverre Olav Farstad, Jon Ketil Gjørtz, Sverre Andreas Farstad, Svein Leon Aure, Espen Volstad, Eivind Volstad

Farstad, Volstad and Kleven are combining forces to establish the ship-owning company Norwind Offshore. The company will offer specialised vessels designed specifically for advanced maritime operations in the development and service of the offshore wind sector. Norwind Offshore has entered into a contract with Vard for the delivery of three vessels by 2024 - with options for two more vessels in 2025. The first vessel is due to be delivered in 2022.