Underwriters Laboratory (formerly AWS Truepower) oversees development of atmospheric models. UL is being represented by Jose Vidal, who is acting as the technical coordinator for the UPWARDS consortium. Their focus is on the atmospheric models that are to be used. These are considered essential in order to make wind flow more effectively in terms of energy production, while reducing noise and other undesired side effects originated by wind turbines. As the design of wind farms must consider wind’s behavior, exposing the simulated designs scenarios that better represent real-world conditions will be very advantageous.
A major part of designing wind turbines is done using simulations. It is important to note this because, the currently, simulations use synthetic conditions, vs real world conditions which are rarely used. Thus, the goal for UL, within the framework of the UPWARDS project, is to acquire data on the real-world conditions of windfarm environments in order to increase the ultimate performance of the designed wind turbine. Specifically, this will mean allowing for more energy to be extracted from the wind as well and reduce issues like noise.
Going forward, the goal is to implement a new practice of using real-world conditions (through the measurements taken) as well as modelled conditions the simulations that will be used validate wind-turbine park designs. This will provide higher confidence in the performance of the simulations as they will be able to more accurately represent the real-world performance of the wind-turbine park.
In recent trials UL was able to simulate air-flow conditions in a wind-park environment with a 37-metre [square] resolution. Typically, the current mesoscale models are run in on the order of 1-Km scale resolution with a max threshold of hundreds of meters. Thus, the obtained resolution represents a massive advancement!
UL used the access it has to a wind park to take real-world measurements as inputs to run simulations of environmental conditions of a wind-park site. The latest results are very promising in terms of how close the results were to measurements taken, and this is not even the final version of their solution!
Gary Grima & Olena Malchyk, Wavestone