Wind Power

We provide wind energy design for small and large wind power applications.  It is important to pick the right wind turbine type for the unique on-site wind parameters.  First, the wind speed is evaluated with monitoring towers.  The data is analyzed with the latest wind data processing software.  We simulate the community’s power demand and determine the appropriate wind power capacity. We calculate the expected wind turbine output based on the manufacturer specifications and the on-site wind parameters.  We consider several wind turbine manufactures and various combinations of wind turbines to find the most cost effective and most productive solution for you.  There are many smart decisions to be made to pick the right place for a wind park, the right type of tower foundation, the appropriate tower height, the transmission line back to the power plant, the switch gear, and battery system, use of excess energy, etc. There are over 40,000 wind turbines installed in Germany with a capacity of 30,000 MW.  That equals the capacity of about 20-25 nuclear power plants. Many of the old turbines were already replaced with newer, bigger ones.  As of 2011, Germany’s federal government is working on a new plan for increasing renewable energy commercialization with a particular focus on off-shore wind farms.  Wind power in Germany provides over 96,100 people with jobs and German wind energy systems are also exported. The Fuhrländer Wind Turbine Laasow, built in 2006 near the village of Laasow, Brandenburg, is the tallest wind turbine in the world. Also most other of the tallest wind turbines in the world are situated in Germany, see List of wind turbines.   Germany has the majority of the most powerful wind turbines in the world, the Enercon E-126. In Germany, hundreds of thousands of people have invested in citizens’ wind farms across the country and thousands of small and medium sized enterprises are running successful businesses in a new sector that in 2008 employed 90,000 people.  Wind power has gained very high social acceptance in Germany. Though a decade behind the technology development and even further behind the institutional regulations for renewable energy power, the USA is going through similar trends as Europe. One is a turbine for less than ideal locations, which might have lower winds and more turbulence.  Other trends include greater reliability and larger designs.  As developers search to build in more challenging locations, manufacturers have responded with a variety of designs.  For instance, Leitwind’s LTW77 has modular construction making it easy to transport over and assemble on rough terrain.  The company’s LTW101 and LTW104 feature higher energy yields and improved availability.  With about 3.500 full load hours (gross AEP at 6,5 m/s) the company says the models are some of the most efficient on the market. All turbine manufacturers are working on reliability improvements.  For most turbines, the improvements will lower operating costs. Upgrades will span all through the machine, from pitch to hydraulics to yaw and to the gearbox.  GE, Gamesa, and Suzlon also have large-rotor units intended for less windy regions.  Marketing directors have recognized that there are many moderate wind sites around the globe. Why not provide a turbine for them? Such units would allow placing turbines closer to load–cities.  One example is Acciona.  The company’s AW3000/116 has a larger rotor, which makes it well-suited for less windy sites (those with low to medium wind speeds).  Expect larger rotors and taller towers to go together.  Cleveland-based manufacturer of welding products, Lincoln Electric, recently installed a 2.5-MW turbine.  It is one of the largest urban wind turbines in North America and manufacturer Kenersys’ first in the U.S. Another feature that is becoming increasingly important is network compatibility.  Turbines like Dewind’s D9.2 is said to offer a reliable drivetrain that ensures good grid support.  It works with dynamic reacitve power to support the grid though extreme events, while a generator works at high voltage to connect to the grid directly through a synchonizing switch without power conversion electronics, converters, or a power transformer. There are also new direct drives, which eliminate the gearbox issue but at the same time generators grow in size and complexity. The trend will continue if neodymium, a material ideal for high-flux-density magnets, stays relatively inexpensive.  It will be necessary to develop new material sources.  Electrical engineers have already suggested there are ways to build efficient generators without the material, or less of it. Taller towers is also a new trend.   Wind increases exponentially with height, therefore higher towers make sense because their cost is justified through increased power production.  Those taller towers also allow larger turbines to enter the market and allow installing them in less turbulent winds, which decreases wear and fatigue.   The 80-m tower is about standard in the USA.  In Europe, the 100-m tower is standard.  The extra 20m will make best use of the larger rotors. Of course, cranes are needed to erect taller towers.  In Europe there is a sophisticated infrastructure and cranes can be transported by road to the wind park site.  In Alaska however, especially in the remote villages, there is limited road access.  Most equipment needs to be barged or flown in.  For small wind farms in remote villages, smaller towers with tilt-up kits may be the way to go.  Those can be easily taken down for maintenance as well.