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Confirmation of increased wind farm capacity of 30% with wake steering

In case you missed it, on May 18, 2021 the National Renewable Energy Lab (Golden, CO) published findings confirming the value of wake steering in increasing wind farm capacity through decreased turbine spacing. The white paper is here.

If you have been following the science of wake management you know that this announcement is non-trivial. On its face it means that turbines on wind farms may need less space to operate. As a result, all wind farms should consider the impacts of wake and understand the state of technology that can manage and control wake turbulence as they plan new and repowered wind energy deployments, onshore and offshore.

Vayu is the leader in delivering control strategies that manage wake turbulence. Any consideration or conversation about wake and its impact/opportunity on every wind farm should begin with us.

Notably, to maintain power output with reduced spacing, the wind farm will need to embrace wake steering control strategies. In doing so they will capture power gains and avoid operations & maintenance caused by wake turbulence (as NREL confirms). This process will necessarily entail using wake steering simulations to optimize site planning in advance of construction or repowering AND deploying wake steering control strategies on the farm once new turbines are live.

Any analysis begins with advanced wake steering optimization and simulation capacity in order to understand both the opportunities and the risks.

Vayu’s cloud-based system is years ahead of the competition in this space. We rely on state of the art wake models and AI to simulate wind farm dynamics, making us well equipped to give a full analysis of the opportunity in both power and revenue terms (alongside loads & risk analysis).

So, what does this reduction in turbine spacing mean?

From its most practical perspective the NREL study means less space will be required to deliver the same power. More importantly, a natural corollary here is that the same space should be able to produce more power. Simple math tells us that 30% more space should mean 30% more turbines and corresponding energy capacity.

AND, there will also be additional benefits from using wake steering. How much? That is the big question. Prevailing wisdom is that wake steering can produce additional energy on almost any wind farm, but quantifying this has been subject of much debate. Vayu optimizations historically show gains on wind farms on the order of 2-10%. NREL’s study suggests lesser numbers. The jury will be out on this topic until upcoming live deployments of our wake steering technology are complete. However, our proprietary analytical wake models already significantly outperform the existing state of the art in simulations, giving us substantial confidence in our assessments of the magnitude of this opportunity.

It may be time for you to connect with Vayu and learn more about your wind farm!

Jim Kiles
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