Wind turbines are being designed based on models predicting yield and loading. These models are as good as the data with which they are validated. Therefore, a higher accuracy of reference wind measurements will result in more accurate models, and thus better wind turbines. In the ScanFlow project, TNO and DTU very accurately measure the wind turbine inflow wind field of a TNO research wind turbine with various DTU scanning LiDAR.

The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) Joint Programme Wind partners expressed the need for sharing facilities and equipment on a European level for optimal use of research resources and achieving access to cutting edge technologies. This all with the ambition to bring and maintain the EU wind industry at the top international level. In order to do so, the EERA JP Wind partners organized Joint Experiments in the framework of the FP7 Integrated Research Project Wind (IRPWind). One of these Joint Experiments is the ScanFlow project.

Overview of the ScanFlow measurement campaign

The ScanFlow measurement campaign was executed at the TNO wind turbine test site. Among others, the test site comprises a row of five of full scale TNO 2.5MW research turbines, accompanied with a 108m-high meteorological mast. The terrain is flat, agricultural land, assuring nice, homogeneous wind flows.

The inflow wind field of the turbine is primarily measured with a DTU SpinnerLidar and three DTU short range scanners. These systems are based on LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology that measure the wind remotely using laser light. The SpinnerLidar is mounted on the nacelle of the turbine, at 80m height. It scans the wind field about 60m in front of the turbine, taking a two-dimensional snapshot of the wind. The three short-range scanning LiDARs are placed on the ground that are programmed and synchronised such that they all measure at the same point in the wind field. By scanning or moving the laser beams, the researchers are able to capture the full three-dimensional aspects of the wind field. Furthermore, a ground-based profiling LiDAR captures the undisturbed wind conditions while a meteorological mast registers atmospheric conditions, providing essential background information for the model validation. In the meanwhile the research turbine is operated under normal conditions, taking essential data, such as produced power, rotational speed, etc. on the fly.

Detailed wind field measurements in front of a turbine are not commonly available. TNO and its partners make this unique, highly detailed and comprehensive dataset available to the research community via the ScanFlow website ( The dataset will be used by academia and industry to improve and validate their models so that improvements in wind turbine design will continue.

If you are interested in the measured data set please visit the ScanFlow website

ScanFlow website

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Dr Jan Willem Wagenaar