A general feeling of optimism prevails regarding the long-awaited growth spurt in the wind energy sector in the Netherlands. ECN contributes significantly towards making wind energy cheaper and for this, in addition to working with turbine producers, it is also collaborating with ship builders and fitters.
Active Wake Control delivers up to 5 percent more electricity
With its Active Wake Control system, ECN made it to the pages of the international trade press in November. The patented system ensures that the turbine blades and nacelle of the wind turbines are positioned such that they are less affected by each other's wake effects. This results in a production of 0.5 - 5 percent more electricity and reduced maintenance costs, as demonstrated by experiments at the ECN test site. ECN now intends to test the system at sea.
Ideal test spot
ALSTOM's ECO 122 Turbine was also installed at the ECN test site in 2013. With a turnover of more than 200 billion euros, ALSTOM is a global player in the energy market. Assisted by ECN, it wants to determine and improve the technical features of its latest turbine model. The test site at Wieringermeer is ideal for this.
In 2012, the Dutch industry formulated its research needs in the Offshore Wind (Wind op Zee) Innovation Contract of the Top Sector Energy. The actual projects under this contract were set up during the past year. The demonstration tender proposed three R&D projects, all three of which involved the participation of ECN. This shows that ECN has fully achieved its ambition of making an entry into the market. Two projects have been approved by TKI Wind op Zee (Top consortium for Knowledge and Innovation - Offshore Wind). Together with LM Wind Power, ECN will optimise its offshore wind farms by varying the designs of the turbines on the farm. In cooperation with IHC Merwede, ECN plans to develop a new installation method for extending the life span of supporting structures for turbines.