In Europe, wind energy is the second largest source of energy. But the energy production from the offshore wind turbine is too costly. Offshore winds are too strong for turbines to handle. The energy from the wind is proving to be more costly than energy from fossil fuels and the wind farm setup is costlier than nuclear energy.
Project windtrust has conducted some experiment for make making wind turbines more stronger and efficient to withstand strong offshore winds and generate more amount of electricity.
How could Wintrust project achieve this?
The center has test farms of 30,000 meter square. They have access to hilly terrains with high level winds and they can simulate wind conditions in their farm. They have tried and tested the new design that can be cost effective for producing energy while withstanding offshore winds. The lab also has simulation softwares which can calculate strength, torque, strain, and wind flow.
What methods are your tests based on?
The new design has integrated flaps on turbine blades. We tested it in harsh conditions same as offshore, variable high speed wind, rain, storm, very high strain and pressure on the blades. But the blades were able to withstand for longer time and hence reducing the maintenance cost.
The biggest challenge was to improve life span and decrease manufacturing costs, The wind pressure on the ground of the blade to the highest tip of the blade is different hence design has to be done smartly. Offshore wind sometimes goes unpredictably and puts pressure on the weaker areas of the blades thus creating wear and tear.
What are the results obtained?
By applying flaps on the blades, the wind load was reduced by 10%, The blade cost is reduced and lifetime is extended. The energy generation continues for a longer time.
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