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Enertrag Betrieb Takes Over Technical Management of Research Wind Farm in Krummendeich

Krummendeich, Germany - The new WiValdi research wind farm in the district of Stade in Lower Saxony will provide important insights into the technological development of wind turbines and increase their economic efficiency. Enertrag's subsidiary Enertrag Betrieb has now been awarded the contract for the technical management.

How can wind be utilised most effectively to generate electricity? What do the turbines need to look like and can wind turbines actually be quieter? The Wind Energy Research Park in Krummendeich in the district of Stade is investigating these questions scientifically. The operator is Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt (DLR). The technical service provider Enertrag Betrieb won a public tender for the technical and commercial management and will be responsible for this for the coming years. The partner GP Joule Service will take over commercial management.

Research wind farm to tap technological development potential

With the WiValdi (WindValidation) wind energy research farm, DLR has a unique large-scale research facility at the Krummendeich site near the mouth of the river Elbe in the district of Stade. The facility enables scientific analyses on a full-scale with an unprecedented level of detail under real environmental conditions. The objective is to gain a better understanding of wind energy and all its influencing factors.

Enertrag Betrieb will monitor both the performance and the acoustics of the research turbines as part of its technical operational management. In addition to some noise reduction measures on the rotor blade, which can be achieved via the design, profiles or edge modification (for example with serrated edges), the main focus is on skilful control.

"The challenge is to operate the plants in such a way that the highest possible output can be achieved during and despite the research campaigns. This must be supported by skillful operational management. Optimum cooperation between researchers, monitoring, operations managers and our Powersystem operations management software is crucial here," says Andre Reichert, Head of Operational Services at Enertrag Betrieb.

Special design of the research wind farm: linear arrangement of turbines and measuring masts

The location of the research wind farm is characterised by steady winds from the main wind direction of west-southwest. The two wind turbines Opus 1 and Opus 2 were deliberately built one behind the other at the research wind farm site for research purposes. The turbines are two identical Enercon E-115 EP3 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 4.26 MW, a height of 150 metres and a rotor diameter of 116 metres. Each turbine has around 1,300 sensors that provide detailed information, particularly about the rotor blades. These turbines are unique in the world for their comprehensive measurement technology, which extends from the base to the tip of the blade. In addition to the permanently installed sensors, further sensors can be added to validate and synchronise data.

For research, the spatial arrangement of the two wind turbines is a welcome field for collecting data, as it is important to install as many turbines as possible in the smallest possible space in order to achieve the expansion targets for wind energy in the future. The measurement of the direct wake behind the first turbine and the power measurements of the second turbine in conjunction with the metereological measurements are therefore of particular interest. This should provide information on how efficient the turbines can be when they are installed as close together as possible.

Research focus: Measurement of the turbulent wake

The configuration of the two wind turbines (one behind the other in the main wind direction), which is unfavourable from a commercial operator's point of view but interesting from a research perspective, allows investigations and experiments to be carried out in the wake. In order to record the properties of the turbulent wake in detail, a total of five meteorological measuring masts have been erected on the research park. A 150 metre high, IEC-compliant measuring mast is located in the main wind direction in front of Opus 1. The sensors on this measuring mast precisely record the incoming wind field. As soon as the wind field hits Opus 1, a complex, turbulent wake is created.

This wake is recorded by the met mast array, consisting of three met masts (100 m, 150 m and 100 m), which is positioned directly in front of Opus 2 in the main wind direction. The array allows the turbulent wind field to be recorded over the entire rotor surface of Opus 2 before it hits Opus 2. With this configuration, it is possible to investigate the effects of the wake and validate methods for reducing or deflecting the wake to increase the effectiveness of the entire wind farm.

Source: IWR Online, Feb 02 2024