Wind energy develops rapidly every year. According to GWEC (Global Wind Energy Council) data at the end of 2015 world wind energy surpassed the mark of 433 gigawatts of installed capacity.
Installing wind turbines globally (including sea shelf territories), wind energy specialists try to use appropriate territories in mountains and achieve highest possible rates of Installed Capacity Utilization Factor (ICUF). It is known that ICUF is much higher in flat terrain than in mountainous terrain, and wear and service expenses are concerned to be more reasonable.
The Research team WindForS tries to make a profound study of mountain loadings, and to find out how to improve the efficiency and extend the installations life in such terrain. Therefore a project KonTest was launched to make thorough measurements in the Swabian Alps (Germany).
Project manager Andreas Rettenmeier gave his comment on the choice of the territory: “This territory provides us with ideal conditions for our research. The most frequent here is west wind which is accelerated due to the mountain spine and goes down the slope, making irregular wind currents and turbulence. Moreover, this region has high average annual wind speed. These particular factors are typical for rugged mountainous terrain. Therefore, this territory is ideal for research and testing of new technologies for wind turbines”.
Two wind turbines with a turbine hub of 75 meters height and installed capacity of 750 kilowatts each, are planned to be installed in the test area of rugged topography. Near the wind installations there would be measuring masts which would provide measurements of a range of meteorological parameters (wind speed and direction, temperature, air humidity, atmospheric pressure and others).
The importance of the project is that all technical documentation data will be available for a great number of scientists. Therefore, specialists will get a unique opportunity to analyze thoroughly wind installations operation in rugged terrain.
More about WindForS study details can be found on the official website of the project: www.windfors.de