Offshore site assessment wind and sea

The development of new locations for inland and offshore wind energy utilization requires a detailed characterization of environmental conditions. Knowledge of this is indispensable for wind energy turbine
design and the success of wind farm projects, focusing on land, on the planning of wind farms with large hub heights in hilly or wooded areas. Questions arising in this field of potential assessment, resource definition and load assumptions are processed, among others, using a 200 m high measuring mast and several LiDAR-Systems (laser supported wind speed measuring). Different types of information are particularly crucial during the different project phases from planning through realization up to operation.

The Fraunhofer IWES has developed innovative and adapted measuring and analysis methods, for offshore wind energy utilization, for the on-site conditions of wind, waves, current and the sea floor, as well as methods for recording the ecological effects of offshore wind farms.

Ultraschall-Doppler-Profil-Strömungsmesser und AWAC
© Jan Meier

For precise efficiency analysis of wind as well as wave and tidal energy plants, evaluation of long time series is necessary. Comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the data is decisive for the quality of the results. The Fraunhofer IWES analyzes and validates the data according to the particular task. Uncertainties are determined explicitly and included in the evaluation. In addition to the analysis of historical time series data from measurements and model calculations, the Fraunhofer IWES uses different measurement techniques for collecting high-resolution data of wind, wave and currents which are analyzed and combined with various model data.

The methods for measuring the sea state are usually based on the use of measuring buoys. Fraunhofer IWES is developing a new, flexible measurement system for high-resolution, three-dimensional measurement of the current field for current measurement on supporting structures of wind turbines and in front of tidal power plants. Especially the turbulence of the current and its interaction with waves require particularly precise measurements. For current and wave measurements ultrasonic Doppler profile flow meters and an AWAC are used.