Offshore WMEP

Monitoring of offshore wind energy utilization

Project leader: Fraunhofer IWES, 34119 Kassel

Main research questions

  • What is the effect of the specific offshore-conditions on equipment and on operation and performance of wind turbines; what are the main differences to onshore-systems?
  • Which energy yield can be achieved and what does offshore wind energy cost?
  • What are the fluctuations of feed-in caused by the variation of wind speeds; how is availability affected by extreme wind conditions?
  • Are there any special prosperities and/or embarrassments for different system concepts, different concepts of installation, maintenance strategies and different grid-connection-concepts?

Motivation

Offshore wind energy use is commonly suggested to play an important role in future electricity supply. However, long-term experience with thousands of wind turbines onshore explicitly hint on possible barriers for a save, efficient, economic and user friendly supply relying on offshore wind energy. Thus, after a certain time of test and demonstration investors, grid operators, banks, insurance companies and politicians will need reasonable data and findings to decide the next investments or to provide economy with adequate frame conditions respectively. A scientific programme ‘Offshore-WMEP’ (OWMEP), accompanying start and progress of German offshore wind energy use shall provide the parties addressed with information required. Fraunhofer IWES will be responsible for OWMEP and will be supported by DOTI, IZP and FGW.

Approach

OWMEP will gather data and information to analyse economics, reliability, availability, offshore specific affects on operation and the impact of offshore wind farms on electricity supply. But, wind turbine manufacturers and wind farm operators will consider at least parts of the information required as sensible and may remain reluctant to provide it. Thus, one of the most important issues of OWMEP’s first phase is to develop a concept of stimulation and confidentiality, which will allow even competing parties to participate in OWMEP and to support it actively. ISET in close cooperation with the owner and operator of ‘alpha ventus’ - DOTI will develop this concept, which will firstly define a catalogue of data to be provided to OWMEP by wind farm operators, secondly a set of additional data provided to the operators by OWMEP and a list of results as well. The concept will also prepare a system of confidentiality clarifying, which data and which results will be accessible for publicity, which information will be accessible for certain parties only and which will be provided to the wind farm operators solely. To allow an evaluation of operational data of all wind farms within OWMEP, a standardised set of data to be acquired, the acquisition frequency and a structure of archives have to be agreed on. Fraunhofer IWES is already collaborating with several partners in another project, evaluating operational data from more than 1,000 onshore wind turbines. Findings and experience from that project will help to define the data catalogue and to create an appropriate data management system. Relying on a wide data basis, the aggregated results shall provide findings on the most advantageous technical concepts without naming a certain turbine model or manufacturer. After a couple of years, the results will allow concluding, which parts of the whole system of offshore wind energy use have to be improved by further R&D. It will also be possible to support political decisions, i. e. the future height of reimbursement of electricity produced by offshore wind energy, with reasonable data and findings. The OWMEP will thus contribute to further development of the offshore technology.

Work packages

For the time being, the project has started as conceiving phase and is divided in three work packages:

  • Development of the OWMEP stimulation and confidence concept,
  • Creation of a data management system,
  • Application of the OWMEP concept at alpha ventus.

Partners and Contact

Fraunhofer IWES
Paul Kühn (paul.kuehn(at)iwes.fraunhofer.de) 

Fördergesellschaft Windenergie e.V. (FGW)
Lennart Reeder, (lr(at)wind-fgw.de)

Ingenieurgesellschaft für Zuverlaessigkeit und Prozessmodellierung Dresden (IZP)
Dr. Harald Jung (h.jung(at)izp.de)

Deutsche Offshore-Testfeld und Infrastruktur GmbH & Co. KG (DOTI)

Projekt Homepage: www.offshore-wmep.de