A project named "Gigawatt Wakes" designed to investigate the effects of wind flows likely to be created by large offshore wind farms has been announced by Germany’s Oldenburg University
Wind turbulence and wind shadow effects created by offshore wind turbines can impact on other turbines within the same offshore project. They can also affect the performance of neighbouring offshore wind farms.
A €3.8 million grant from the federal environment ministry BMU (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit) has enabled Oldenburg university to buy a unique multi-lidar laser optical remote sensing instrument to measure such effects.
The research partners include German turbine manufacturer Bard Engineering, which has six offshore projects in the North Sea "German Bight" area. The Gigawatt Wakes team will have access to the 80 turbine 400MW Bard 1 wind farm, currently under construction. Data collected from the site should allow researchers to provide the first insight into the wind shadow effects at a substantial offshore wind station.
The results are likely to inform the future designs of large wind stations as well as the design of next generation wind turbines, commented Daniel Brickwell, head of marketing for Bard Holding.