Climate-KIC is a European knowledge and innovation community, working towards a prosperous, inclusive, climate-resilient society founded on a circular, zero-carbon economy. Their summer school visited Impact Hub Zurich last week, and I was lucky enough to be asked to participate. I focused on discussing why we need wind energy to fight climate change and then what we can do to contribute.
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Want to know what’s going on in the wind energy research community but don’t have time to do a detailed study yourself? Read on for a comprehensive guide to the key research topics at the conference “The Science of Making Torque from Wind” (TORQUE 2018) held by the European Academy of Wind Energy at the Politecnico Milano last week. This article consists a summary of key topics as well as one key “good to know” statement at the end for each of the following six main categories: 1. Aerodynamics and acoustics; 2. Control and monitoring; 3. Design, engineering and new concepts; 4. Measurements and experimental techniques; 5. Modelling and simulation technology; 6. Wind, wakes and turbulence.
The top five wind energy research and innovation topics that are being talked about in Europe right now
As part of my activities at HSR, last week I attended the Research and Innovation Workshop of ETIP Wind, the European Technology & Innovation Platform on Wind Energy. These are the top five topics that are being talked about right now: 1. Open access data, 2. Digitalisation, 3. The "mindful" wind turbine, 4. The next generation 20 MW offshore floating wind turbine and 5. Grid integration and stability of power system
The University of Sheffield recently interviewed me regarding my activities since doing my PhD at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, which I completed in 2007. The resulting article has just been published in Issue 15 of MechEngNews!
In my opinion, there are five key technical concepts that are essential for people working in the wind energy industry to understand. These are:
1. The physical limits of wind turbine performance
2. Tip speed ratio and optimum performance
3. The physical limits of wind turbine dimensions
4. Loads and fatigue
5. Performance indicators for wind energy
I shall introduce each of these concepts in my next few blog articles. Today I’m going to talk about the first concept – the physical limits of wind turbine performance.
This is an extended version of my recent article A rough guide to annual energy production estimations for wind energy investors published in the Resource Global Network Magazine in August 2017.
If you are involved in acquiring or investing in wind energy projects, it is crucial for you to estimate the Annual Energy Production (AEP) as accurately as possible in your business case – independently of the seller. The AEP is a key factor in the calculation of your Internal Rate of Return (IRR) - and inaccuracies on the order of 20% in AEP can make the difference between a respectable project IRR of 7% and an infeasible IRR of only 3% (see the example from TetraTech below). Furthermore, it is important for you to be able to quantify the uncertainties in the AEP estimation in order to understand the associated investment risks.
The online magazine Resource Global Network magazine has just published an interesting issue on wind energy: "Where next for wind energy?".
Starting on page 60 you'll find an article written by me titled "A rough guide to annual energy production estimations for wind energy investors" - hope you enjoy it!
Annual Energy Production Part 1 – making sense of nameplate capacity, capacity factor, load factor and more
If you are involved in acquiring or investing in wind energy projects, it is crucial for you to estimate the Annual Energy Production (AEP) as accurately as possible in your business case – independently of the seller. The AEP is a key factor in the calculation of your Internal Rate of Return (IRR) - and small changes in AEP can lead to large changes in the project IRR. Furthermore, it is important for you to be able to quantify the uncertainties in the AEP estimation in order to understand the associated investment risks.
I’ll talk more about how AEP and the associated uncertainties can be estimated in my next article, but first it’s important to understand the relevant terms.
I'm very pleased that 58% of Swiss voters said YES to the Energiestrategie 2050 yesterday! This does not mean, of course, that all the wind projects on the waiting list will suddenly be able to be built, but at least it shows that the country is ready to go in the right direction. Great news!
What does this mean for wind energy?
I have written this article because many news articles, statements or reports I have recently read about wind energy involves the author confusing energy (kWh) and power (kW) and thus undermining the message they are trying to put across. Actually I totally understand this confusion – because, quite simply, the topic IS confusing. I’ll explain why here.