IKERLAN is participating in CL-Windcon, a recently launched R&D project in Europe that aims to develop computer models to build more efficient wind farms. The goal of this initiative is to implement models and control algorithms that optimise the integral design of the parks while increasing the use of the wind and reducing park expenses.
Wind turbines create turbulence in the wind that passes through them, similar to the wake caused by motor vehicles, something that affects nearby wind turbines. This limits the wind turbine density on a wind farm, as well as its efficiency.
CL-Windcon will be developing models to allow a comprehensive design of wind turbines and wind farms to optimise wind utilisation, reduce maintenance costs, and improve wind power capacity to participate in the adjustment services of the electrical grid. As a result, the operation in the parks will be economically viable, allowing them to generate more energy, and the electrical grid will be able to support a higher percentage of wind in its mix.
Specifically, it aims to achieve a 10% reduction in the overall levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for wind power, increase production in parks by 4-5%, reduce operating costs by 4%, extend the service life of the machine by 1%, and reduce the cost of materials of components (thanks to lower loads) by 3-4%. It will also assess the overall economic and environmental impact of these technical improvements as a result of the project.
This project, led by the National Centre for Renewable Energy (CENER), features the participation of 14 members from 6 countries. CL-Windcon is funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, of the European Union, and is scheduled to end in October 2019.
The role of IKERLAN
IKERLAN has extensive experience in the design of automatic control for wind turbines. These systems are responsible for deciding how much power is transmitted at each moment to the electrical grid and how open the blades should be with respect to the wind. The comprehensive design of the wind farm proposed by CL-Windcon will require these systems to present a series of benefits that, to date, have not yet been offered.
IKERLAN will design and implement a system for automatic control of wind turbines, which will offer these benefits while harmonising the objectives of the park and the wind turbine. Furthermore, the centre will propose methods for designing the automatic control of wind farms that make use of the new features of the wind turbines, in order to improve energy efficiency, allow better management of maintenance needs, and improve availability.
IKERLAN is a leading centre for technology transfer and for providing competitive value to companies due, among other things, to the expertise of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions by combining different fields of technology. This is possible owing to its high level of specialisation in three main areas: Electronics, information and communication technology (EICT), Energy and power electronics and Advanced manufacturing. It currently has a staff of approximately 290 people.