New Software Solution Wrangles the Wake Effect

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Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has debuted its Wake Adapt feature for offshore wind turbines – a technology that allows O&M to actively adjust the heading of individual turbines, directing the wind that flows off the individual machine in a different direction than what normally occurs.

The resulting shift in direction of the wind turbine wake away from downstream wind turbines allows an increase in overall wind park performance of up to 1% in annual energy production, the company says.

“The Wake Adapt feature is about proactive problem-solving,” says Morten Pilgaard Rasmussen, head of offshore technology at Siemens Gamesa. “Instead of letting the wind and wake fully dictate how much energy we can capture, we safely direct the wake – and its unfavorable effects – away from our machines across the entire power plant. Through digitalization, we can produce more energy from the same turbines.”

Wake Adapt applies wake steering techniques to reduce wake-induced production losses on offshore wind power plants by up to 10%. Remotely activated, it strategically adjusts the yaw angle of each offshore wind turbine when the wake of upstream wind turbines negatively affects downstream wind turbines. These offset angles deflect the wake away from downstream turbines, controlling the wind to ensure that downstream turbines receive a more powerful and undisrupted wind flow. This redistributes production across the row of turbines, increasing the performance of the entire wind power plant. The adaptations are made depending on site-specific conditions and comply with the load design envelope for the offshore wind turbines and support structures.

“What’s more, we have a solution which – depending on project specific factors – can be retrofit to existing wind parks using Siemens Gamesa Direct Drive and geared G4 offshore wind turbines,” Rasmussen adds.

SGRE is collaborating with The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) to offer an alternative partner to customers for gain verification purposes. TNO also holds a patent related to wake steering and is considered one of the first institutes to research into this area.

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