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Product Pick of the Week - DONG Energy at the forefront of offshore wind technology

DONG Energy is to install a game-changing radar system at Westermost Rough to help maximise energy and efficiency returns out at sea

The Danish giant, investing massively into Grimsby, has chosen SmartWind Technologies to supply a dual-doppler device for offshore wind measurement.

Two radar units will be installed next year, close to the farm which is being built out of Grimsby, and will be operated and maintained from new facilities at Royal Dock, in what is an £11 million investment.

It comes after Westermost Rough was the first farm to use Siemens’ 6MW turbine on a commercial scale, as well as the first off the Humber to deploy helicopters to service them.

The devices will produce high-resolution dynamic maps of the wind flow through and around the structures.

The 18-month measurement campaign – the first of its kind where radar will be used for offshore wind measurement – will focus on wind farm wakes, power curve measurements and wind turbine load validation.

The campaign is part of Dong Energy’s BEACon – Beamed Radar for Energy Assessment and Site Conditions – research and development project. The project team will be responsible for running the test and demonstrating the new radars.

Nicolai Gayle Nygaard, BEACon technical manager at Dong Energy, said: “The dual-Doppler radars represent the next generation of wind measurement technology. “Contrary to standard measurement set-ups, such as a met mast or a profiling lidar which provide measurements of the wind speed and direction at a single position, the radars give us the ability to quickly scan the flow field in and around an entire wind farm with unprecedented range and resolution.

“This enables a paradigm shift in the approach to integrating wind measurements into the design and operation of offshore wind farms. “Project BEACon will give us invaluable new knowledge which can be applied across our entire portfolio to lower the cost of electricity.”

Wind data is a cost driver when developing new offshore wind farms, as a key determination of layout. Besides their impact on energy production, the wind conditions also influence the capital expenditure through the foundation design. With the wind data from the project Dong Energy will be able to refine the assumptions and models used in optimising those decisions.

John Schroeder, co-founder of SmartWind Technologies, said: “Radar technologies have up until now been used for limited application in onshore wind farms acquiring detailed information to rapidly visualise evolving complex flows and turbine-to-turbine interaction.

“This collaboration transitions these measurement concepts and will provide information fundamental to driving down the cost of offshore wind energy further. Not only will these measurements contribute to short-term understanding of offshore wind farm complex flows; they will also open the door for developing future concepts, such as wind farm system level control and optimisation.”

To date, Dong has built close to every third offshore wind turbine in the world. By 2020, the company aims to have built 6,500 MW, tripling its current installed capacity.

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DONG Energy
Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist / DONG Energy Staff

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