Current projects Wind Energy
ECN is working on several projects in the field of wind energy. Many of these projects have been directly commissioned by industry. Others are supported by Dutch or international funding. The list below includes the most recent current projects.
- Far and Large Offshore Wind (FLOW)
FLOW is a joint research programme involving 13 Dutch businesses and knowledge institutions. They are working together on innovations with a view to reducing the cost of offshore wind power. ECN is working on numerous projects as part of this consortium. The FLOW programme reaches its end in 2016. It enables Dutch companies to adopt a leading position in the international market for offshore wind farms. The most important results achieved are:
- Improvements in wind turbine technology, such as the blades and the controllers;
- Improvements in wind farm production through the introduction of wind farm control systems;
- Improvements to the way in which offshore wind farms are incorporated into the electricity grid.
The LAWINE project improves and demonstrates opportunities for applying Lidar technology. This enables a better assessment of the wind field for planned and existing locations. Lidar systems use laser beams to determine wind speeds at great altitude. ECN is working to develop scanning lidars in order to make them available to Dutch industry. This is part of an international cooperative alliance. Further information can be found at www.windscanner.eu.
- Design for Reliable Power Performance (D4REL)
D4REL focuses on reducing uncertainty in the design and operation of wind farms, by means of the following:
- improving the availability of electric generators by using modular fault-tolerant and self-repairing systems;
- developing knowledge and design tools for the next generation of longer and lighter offshore wind turbine blades;
- reducing costs in the support structures for offshore wind turbines, while maintaining the safety and reliability of design by applying probabilistic methods for structural design;
- developing self-adaptive regulatory algorithms that respond optimally to changing environmental conditions, such as changes in water depths caused by tidal ebb and flow and ice formation on the blades;
- replacing unscheduled maintenance with scheduled maintenance by bridging the gap between condition surveillance and fault-tolerant control.
Smart monitoring reduces the maintenance costs of offshore wind farms. This concerns the integrated monitoring of performance, maintenance, life-cycle and production of a wind farm, ensuring predictability. This project is being developed in alliance with a consortium of Dutch companies active in offshore wind farms.
- High Yields Low Loads Enlarged Rotor
(HYLLER) This project increases the energy production of wind farms by equipping the turbines with different rotor diameters. ECN conducted the analysis of the increase in production.
- North Sea wind measurements
ECN's wind energy department was commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs to conduct a long-term meteorological measuring programme in the Dutch part of the North Sea. The programme involves ECN collecting wind data and making it available to the public and developers of offshore wind farms. The use of more accurate wind data in preparing new offshore wind farms reduces risks and therefore lowers the cost price.