Services based on Earth Observation (EO) can provide valuable information during the design stage by providing a long time series of wind data that allows a better assessment and characterization of the wind resource energy production potential of different possible wind farm (WF) sites, helping to select the most advantageous ones. These typical site wind characteristics can also assist in the determination of the optimal location of each individual wind turbine (WT) inside the specified site boundaries, minimizing combined WT wake influence and therefore minimizing energy production losses.
Once the WF is operational, the EO based services can help establish optimal site maintenance weather windows and help foresee or determine/monitor possible rain erosion effects on the WT blades. Long time series of wind and wave data will help determine possible overall weather windows for those operations, while short term weather forecast can provide valuable information to guide the planned maintenance activities (e.g. adjust time window for the activity based on weather forecast inputs).
This 2-year project focuses on the development of an integrated application covering:
- A planning dashboard for wind farm design and operations, including weather windows for offshore operations planning. The dashboard aims to provide a single access point to the different EO services to be developed with advanced data visualisation and download capabilities so that the user is able to trigger service runs, access easily all service outputs, compare different site locations, configurations and maintenance scenarios, and get support from a team of specialised personnel for each one of the services.
The EO-based services will cover different activity areas of wind farm design and operations from wind resource and wake effect assessment to the definition of maintenance operations weather windows, provided by dedicated expert teams coming from different partners. The users will interact with those EO experts to better understand the capabilities, optimal conditions of use and possible limitations of the different presented services, therefore easing their learning curve on the usage and uptake on these products. Hopefully this process, that will be upscaled to other users in the final workshop of the project, will improve significantly the uptake of these types of products by the wind energy sector.
The dashboard should integrate these new EO based services with wind industry sector standard metrics for energy production, operational costs and total cost of energy to provide more recognisable and actionable information to the end users and therefore ease the uptake of these types of services by these non-EO expert user communities.
- Winds for resource assessment. The main focus will be on making EO data and derived products easily accessible for end users and on the development of new applications, which can integrate the EO data seamlessly into the applications already in use by the wind energy community and in particular the wind energy industry. The aim is to fully integrate satellite wind based products with well established industry standard wind farm planning and operations software solutions (SOWFA) and indicators (AEP and LCOE), addressing the full information value chain to provide meaningful and familiar information to infrastructure managers and other interested stakeholders.
- Assessment of wind turbine wake effects. The work will provide access to the higher resolution SAR based EO datasets, produced by DTU, to downstream industry standard applications developed by Wavec. Those applications will use those wind satellite products as ground truth to run the required simulations to assess and minimise wake effects. As in the previous service, standard energy production and cost indicators such as AEP and LCOE will be estimated in these simulations to provide actionable and familiar information to the different stakeholders.
- Assessment of rain erosion of wind turbine blades. The work will use rain data from the GPM mission to characterise rain events, which, combined with wind data from satellite EO, will produce novel rain-wind data series for selected sites with operating wind farms. The work will be the first of its kind, thus in a prototype level data for initial evaluation by end users, namely, wind farm owners, wind farm operators and wind farm planners.
The main partner to demonstrate the services will be EDP, through the Windfloat Atlantic wind farm project installed 20 km off the Portuguese coast at Viana do Castelo. During the user engagement the consortium team will be in contact with a series of stakeholders working in the Atlantic Region to help consolidate the technical requirements. As a result, additional service exercises for different users might be prepared.
This activity corresponds to Theme 2 of the original Invitation to Tender.