Wind power already accounts for over a third of Germany’s power supply and is increasing. But there are still many questions to be answered and improvements to be made before the technology is truly optimised. The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) has therefore launched a major collaborative project in the Krummendeich Research Wind Farm for completion in 2022. The wind park in Lower Saxony will test out technological innovations and develop new concepts for controlling and operating wind turbines.
The main construction partner, turbine producer Enercon, will initially supply two 4.2 megawatt turbines. They will be positioned one behind the other facing the main wind direction, allowing researchers to study more accurately how backflow wind currents affect rear turbines. A constellation of meteorological measuring devices and LIDAR (laser) devices will read wind data in high resolution. A total of 2,000 sensors and measuring devices will be employed in the setup.
"With this unique infrastructure, we can conduct research on a full scale in a real-world environment instead of in the laboratory – and we do it together with partners from academia and industry...Together we can make wind energy even more efficient and affordable," says Karsten Lemmer, an executive board member at DLR in a .
A broad spectrum of topics will be covered during the turbines’ 20 year service life, covering all aspects wind power from manufacturing innovations to improving performance and service life, operations and maintenance issues, to local environmental impact and public acceptance, as well as grid connections
At a later date, a third, smaller turbine will be installed with a modular design that will make it possible to exchange and try out different components. The park is funded by the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony.