ECN part of TNO, KNMI and Whiffle are working on a new atlas featuring accurate information about North Sea winds for wind energy applications. Clarity with respect the amount of wind enables a more accurate estimate of an offshore wind farm’s yield and clarity on how often wind speeds reach extreme levels determine how robust wind turbines need to be made. This reduces the cost of offshore wind energy, a key target set by the Dutch government. Each organisation will contribute with its own specific expertise.
ECN part of TNO has specific knowledge of the wind conditions affecting wind turbines and wind farms and KNMI brings its specialist wind climate knowledge with the help of weather models. Whiffle has developed software that can calculate local wind information at a very high resolution.
The activities in the DOWA project comprise the following. KNMI will extend the existing KNMI North Sea Wind (KNW) atlas cataloguing wind information up to an altitude of 200m to include information from 2014 until March 2019, enabling the dataset to be used to predict wind energy production in wind farms now in the planning phase. In addition, KNMI will compile a new atlas known as the Dutch Offshore Wind Atlas (DOWA). Based on improved models and methods, the new atlas will more effectively chart changes in the wind within a 24-hour period (day/night) and provide wind information from layers of air at a higher altitude (600m). ECN part of TNO validates this atlas using accurate wind measurements from offshore meteorological mast, LiDARs on platforms, floating LiDARs and from satellites and aircraft. In doing this, ECN part of TNO creates a better understanding of the offshore wind conditions, particularly at higher altitudes. Using the DOWA output, Whiffle software makes it possible to extrapolate extremely accurate wind information. The DOWA project will also focus on the wind in the lee of an individual wind turbine or complete wind farms. Last but not least, ECN part of TNO has purchased LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) equipment that makes it possible to use laser techniques to scan wind fields at an altitude of several kilometers. As wind turbines increase in size, wind measurements at greater altitudes are becoming increasingly important.
KNMI has continually updated the KNMI North Sea Wind (KNW) atlas from 2014 onwards and makes these data available. The DOWA results will be made available in a similar fashion. The availability of these more recent modelled wind data is valuable for offshore wind farm developers because it enables the dataset to be used to estimate wind energy production in wind farms in the planning phase. In particular the ability to correlate the dataset with recent offshore measurements with LiDAR enables uncertainties to be reduced.