SUPERGEN WIND ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES-CORE, Towards the Offshore Wind Power Station

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Engineering and Computing Sciences

Abstract

The Mission of Supergen Wind 2'To undertake research to achieve an integrated, cost-effective, reliable & available Offshore Wind Power Station.'This will be done under the four objectives:Reliability.Resource estimation.Scaling up of turbine sizes.Lifetime costs.The project will have two parallel Initiating Themes during the first two years. The first to deal with research into the physics and engineering of the offshore wind farm. The second to look more specifically at the wind turbine, building upon the lessons of Supergen Wind 1. In the third and fourth years of the project, the results of these two Themes will feed into a third Gathering Theme, which will consider the wind farm as a power station looking at how the power station should be designed, operated and maintained for optimum reliability and what the overall economics will be.

Planned Impact

Offshore wind energy forms a major part of the UK Government's strategy for reducing CO2 emissions and combating climate change. However, the technology is still rapidly evolving and, while onshore turbine availability is high, the cost of individual foundations offshore is driving designers towards ever-larger machines for this market with consequently uncertain reliability levels. The underpinning research proposed by the Supergen Wind 2 Consortium will help to achieve safer, more reliable installations to the benefit of the wind energy industry, the electric power utilities and grid operators, the electricity consumer, Government policy makers, and the environment. Beyond this collective impact, the individual work packages can be said to target more well-defined clusters of beneficiaries as follows: The work on improved estimates of offshore wind resource will benefit the wind energy industry in terms of enabling better siting, but also other ocean users in terms of the understanding of wind conditions. The programme on wakes and aerodynamics is specifically aimed at wind farm developers so that they can optimise the placement of turbines within an offshore wind array and better understand the impact of one wind farm on another nearby. Success in this area would mean more economic wind farm installations with knock-on effects in terms of energy cost and operational reliability. Research on the impact of wind turbines on radar systems is targeted at other ocean users who need to navigate round or through the wind farm. The reduction/removal of false echoes and blindness areas will improve effectiveness of harbour/coastguard authorities, air/sea rescue, and general marine navigation. The development of improved wind turbine controllers will facilitate turbine designers in the trend towards larger machine sizes (which optimise the use of expensive offshore foundations). The work is also aimed at enabling operators to optimise the output of the wind turbine depending on set point output, position in array, or when operating under part-load due to a fault condition. The improved flexibility of operation will benefit the commercial operator, the network operator, and the end-consumer of electricity. Structural analysis tools for rotor-wind field interaction will enable the better understanding of loads and load transfer within the blades, drive train, gearbox (if present), bearings, nacelle and tower. There are impacts in terms of the specification and use of materials, more accurate load definition (essential benefit for component suppliers), and turbine operation - with consequent benefits to manufacturers and operators. Work on turbine blade and tower materials and materials processing techniques is particularly relevant to blade and wind turbine manufacturers, of which several are represented within the project. Through Strathclyde, the Consortium is deeply involved in the Energy Technology Institute (ETI) programme on offshore wind energy. While the ETI projects are aimed at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3-6, the Supergen Wind 2 programme is specifically aimed at TRL 1-3, thereby providing much of the underpinning basic research required by the ETI projects. An integrated, web-enabled Condition Monitoring package will be developed in Theme 3 that will be capable of collecting data from offshore wind farm SCADA systems, assessing it using fault detection algorithms developed by Durham and other partners, and returning information to commercial partners/subscribers so that maintenance requirements can be addressed in a timely manner. This tool has high potential to improve the operating economics of offshore wind turbines with benefits to commercial operators and all users of the electricity network. The requirement for fewer, well-scheduled maintenance visits will also help reduce the incidence of injuries/fatalities from statistical considerations but also because visits can be scheduled during calmer weather.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This is a very broad multi-partner consortium project that completed a four year programme in September 2014. The consortium has now transitions to an EPSRC Supergen Wind Hub. Some examples of discoveries developed during Supergen Wind 2 are:
- IBC (Individual Blade Control) technology for extreme wind turbine blade load reduction.
- Fibre-optic accelerometers for monitoring of electrical and mechanical degradation in wind turbine generators.
- New controllers for increased operation flexibility of wind turbines.
Exploitation Route - DECC provided funding to demonstrate the IBC with an OEM to enable exploitation. This technology is also being considered for tidal stream turbines.
- Fibre-optic accelerometers are being exploited through a collaboration with QPS Photonics (Canada).
- Wind turbine controller developments are being exploited and brought to market both through a collaboration with a wind turbine control supplier. A Horizon 2020 project has been submitted to fund the demonstration of its application to provide ancillary services, to maximise power production and reduce O&M costs.
Sectors Energy,Environment

URL http://www.supergen-wind.org.uk/
 
Description The Supergen Wind 2 Work Programme has targeted offshore wind energy research challenges. Since the end of Supergen Wind phase 2 the work has continued under the EPSRC Supergen Wind Hub award (EP/L014106/1), started March 2014 and scheduled to finish in March 2019. Since Supergen Wind 2 began in 2010, The cost of energy from offshore wind has resduce from over £150/MWh to the point where developers are now winning government auctions to develop wind farm projects at bid prices of around £58/MWh. The cost of energy from offshore wind is now competitive with the established generating technologies. The reserach undertaken and wind energy experts trained through the EPSRC Supergen Wind programme has contributed to this success.
Sector Education,Energy,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Project outputs contributed to the work of study committees in Cigre (B4 HVDC) for use in their reports. These study reports form international benchmarks and are extremely widely read.
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description DNV GL 
Organisation DNV GL
Country Norway 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Team has contributed to the development of DNV GL's wind turbine methods and the company has recruited trained research workers from the project.
Collaborator Contribution Three licences for Bladed software and licence for WindFarmer.
Impact DNV GL continue to work in close collaboration with the consortium
Start Year 2010
 
Description NaREC 
Organisation National Renewable Energy Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Technology transfer from the research programme to NaREC including a KTP for one PhD student
Collaborator Contribution Assisted in Training and other events, regularly attend meetings.
Impact Training of NaREC staff
Start Year 2010
 
Description Romax 
Organisation Romax Technology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project has supported Romax in developing their reliability assessment tools
Collaborator Contribution Access to turbine drive-train and bearing data relating to failure.
Impact Collaborating in developing O&M tool for offshore wind turbines.
Start Year 2010
 
Title Design of advanced wind turbine and wind farm controllers 
Description Design of advanced wind turbine and wind farm controllers, Gamesa and other OEMs through SgurrControl, a Strathclyde spin-out company 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Improved Wind Farm Control 
 
Title Development of DC breaker specification guidelines 
Description Further development of DC breaker technology studies undertaken as part of this project, through an industrial project funded by National Grid to develop DC breaker specification guidelines for the UK and undertake testing and modelling on breakers resulting from ideas under Theme 3. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Improved breaker technology. 
 
Title Tools for predicting reliability and availability of wind farms 
Description Methodologies developed for predicting the reliability and availability of wind farms are being applied in a Romax project to develop a time-dependent tool for investigating the impact of different maintenance scenarios on the cost of electricity from wind farms. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Improved management of offshore wind farm assets. 
 
Description Presentation at Windpower Monthly Wind Farm Monitoring and Control conference (June 2014). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Outreach activity resulting is useful discussion.

This was an invited talk which enhanced the reputation of the programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Barnes invited seminar McMaster University Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Outreach activity for the programme.

Enhanced reputation of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Durovic was an Invited Speaker SPIE Photonics North International Conf, Montreal 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Conference attendees now more aware of programme activities and outputs.

Enhanced programme reputation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description UK Science Innovation Network, UK-India Offshore Wind Energy Workshop. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Raised awareness in India of skills, expertise and knowledge available from the programme.

Collaborations with Indian research institutions are likely.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Watson gave short course on Wind Energy to students at the University of Jeju, South Korea. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Transfer of Knowledge to students in South Korea.

Enhanced reputation of programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Watson made visiting professor at Changsha University, China (April 2014). Presented Supergen Wind research to students. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Researchers at Changsha University now more aware of programme outputs and activities.

Watson made visiting professor at Changsha University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Watson was invited to Hohai University, China to participate in '111 Project' kick-off. Made visiting professor. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Hohai University researchers are now more aware of the programme outputs and activities.

Watson made Visiting Professor at Hohai University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014