Offshore wind is still lagging behind onshore wind when it comes to investments, though the potential is huge. In recent years, costs have been driven down, outpacing expectations, due principally to the rapid increase in turbine size. The increased size also leads to increased wakes behind the turbines, which are turbulent wind fields with decreased average wind speed. The wakes are not static, and lead to more fatigue loads on the turbine blades as well as a loss in energy production in the turbines hit by the wakes. The levelized cost of energy (LCOE), which is the break-even cost to produce energy, can decrease either by diminishing costs or by increasing the energy production. With an intelligent control system it is possible to work on both these options: one may optimize the energy production when the electricity price is high, and one may steer the wakes of the wind turbines in such a way that their impact on the next turbine is less damaging and thus reducing maintenance costs. The primary objective of the project is therefore to reduce the operating costs and increase the energy production of offshore wind farms through development of advanced control algorithms. Amongst the challenges is to obtain fast and accurate predictions of the wind field in the wind farm, wakes included, to provide the input for the controller. The controller itself must be capable of balancing various demands and take into account the various model uncertainties. To obtain a control system that increases the profitability of offshore wind farms by more than 2% will make a great impact on the profitability of offshore wind farms.
Project leader: Annette Fagerhaug Stephansen
Category: Teknisk-industrielle institutter
Institution: NORCE Teknologi/Energi VESTLAND