March 26, 2015
Press release: International consortium collaborating to improve wind farm efficiency at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada
An intensive field campaign based on international collaboration is underway at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (Institute) Prince Edward Island site. The experiment known as PEIWEE (Prince Edward Island Wind Energy Experiment) is undertaking an ambitious set of measurements across a range of spatial scales at the existing Institute’s wind farm. In addition to Institute’s staff, there are teams from Cornell, York and Western Universities studying wind turbine wakes and boundary-layer effects from the cliff edge to the turbines. The Cornell team has deployed four sonic anemometers and two vertically pointing ZephIR lidars and a Galion lidar that scan the atmospheric boundary layer to heights of almost 1 km and 2 km in the horizontal, allowing unprecedented detail in describing the wind field and allowing dynamic study of wind turbine wakes. The Institute’s team has also deployed a ZephIR lidar system that was loaned to them by Natural Resources Canada as well as additional masts with sonic and cup anemometers studying the scales of turbulence from 10 m to 80 m. York University has supplemented these measurements with six 10 m meteorological masts deployed along a transect from the cliff edge. The team from the WindEEE Research Institute at Western is deploying a new scanning lidar in collaboration with the Danish Technical University to study flow on smaller scales allowing detailed study of the flow and turbulence at the cliff edge. All these measurements are being integrated with high-fidelity modeling also being conducted by the Cornell team.
The project designer Rebecca Barthelmie, Professor and Croll Faculty Fellow in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University said ‘By combining our instrumentation and effort we can quantify turbine interactions with the atmosphere at a cascading set of spatial scales showing the three dimensional properties of turbine wakes. This level of detail allows us to ‘see’ wake interactions and quantify their dynamic properties and ultimately to build and operate smarter wind farms that even more effectively harness the power of the wind. Our research leverages an impressive array of state-of-the-art instrumentation and signal processing and the collaboration at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada facility is absolutely ideal for this research. This unique collaboration will provide an unprecedented level of detail for improving understanding of wind farm behavior ’.
The Institute’s Scientific Director, Marianne Rodgers, said, “This project is a perfect fit for our Institute. Increased understanding of the wind resource available at a wind park will advance the wind energy industry, offering a database of the impact of various phenomena, such as wake and cliffs, on wind profiles, which will be valuable to existing operations as well as developments in the planning stages. The Institute views its wind park and storage system as a large lab that is available for research. We value collaborations such as this and wish to have more in the future, both with the current researchers and with any potential researchers whose interests align with the wind energy industry.” Participation is being funded separately by each team and it is hoped that the success of the venture thus far will prove attractive to funding agencies to allow the research to continue in future years.
About the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (Institute): The Institute founded in 1981, located at North Cape, Prince Edward Island is a not for profit, independent research and testing institute. The Institute’s mission is to advance the development of wind energy across Canada through research, testing, training, and collaboration. With Federal funding from the Department of Natural Resources’ Clean Energy Fund, the Institute has built a state-of-the-art $25M, 10 MW wind park with a 1 MW/2 MWh battery energy storage system. The Institute’s site has a strong wind resource and 300o exposure to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which allows for relatively low turbulent winds.