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Performance evaluation methods for autonomous, applications orientated wind turbine systems



A major reason for small wind turbines not realising their market potential is the lack of a credible, technical basis for granting and verifying performance warranties - ie for 'guaranteeing results'. The objective of this project is to provide this technical basis.

Technical Approach

Appropriate methods for evaluation of small wind turbine performance should not be restricted to those used for grid connected turbines. It is probable that multi-parameter, characteristic charts are better suited to the market need. Overall performance depends on wind speed, nature of the load, turbulence, drive train efficiency and system matching.
Methods are needed to define general performance, to use such information to predict and warrant performance in specific end-user applications, and to verify real in-service performance.

The project approach will involve:

- selecting and commissioning three commercial wind turbines - defining their characteristics when connected to unrealistic but generic loads
- developing an improved understanding of how real loads behave - developing methods to predict system performance for real end-user loads carrying out long term tests to verify these methods
- formalising the test and interpretation procedures.

Expected Achievements and Exploitation

Success will bring the industrial benefit of removing a major barrier to widespread adoption of small, non-grid-connected, application orientated, wind turbine systems.
The results of the project will lead directly to an International Electrotechnical Commission standard (the proposers are members of a formal standards drafting team and have initiated this project to underpin the new standard).
The three SME manufacturers whose machines will be used in the project have strong commercial interests in the work and will use improved understanding of their machines to modify their warranty arrangements.
The project partners will by the project develop a much improved capability to test small wind turbines systems and to provide consultancy on performance prediction.


National Engineering Laboratory

G75 0QU East Kilbride
United Kingdom

Participants (2)

Deutsches Windenergie-Institut GmbH
96,Ebertstrasse 96
26382 Wilhelmshaven
3,Westerduinweg 3
1755 LE Petten