To determine how much of an effect large waves and what is known as ‘breakers’ have on wind power plants and to what extent the structures can change the surrounding swell, the coastal researchers of the Geesthacht GKSS Research Centre installed a Doppler radar approximately 50 metres above sea level on the FINO3 lattice mast.
"With our radar, we can even track the individual waves for the first time", writes Dr. Freidwart Ziemer, GKSS Department Manager of Radar Hydrology, the unique part of the project. For several years, Ziemer and his team have studied the swell and the behaviour of large breakers. The information is transmitted by FINO3 to Geesthacht via satellite.
Each individual wind rotor creates turbulent air flows in its "tow" and periodical movements, which can have an effect on other structures. This can result in undesired or even dangerous vibrations. If there is an interaction between the waves and the individual wind power plants, this can result in interferences. This means in a wave field which is harmless without a windmill park, single, very high waves can be created by these interferences which could possibly have a critical effect on these plants.
"I am sure that we will soon be able to better assess the swells and the force of the breakers," says Friedwart Ziemer. This means that the breaker behaviour could be taken into account better in planning and the stability of the systems can be more predictable.
FINO3 will provide the Geesthacht coast researchers information on seafaring and the wind. Breaker statistics are also planned. The Doppler radar technology was developed by the GKSS employees in unison with the Technical University of Saint Petersburg. The initial test readings with the new wave radar from the shore have already been carried out successfully.
The project coordinator of FINO3 is the research and development centre of the Kiel University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule Kiel GmbH). The project executing organisation is the Federal ministry of the environment, natural protection and reactor safety (BMU).
Dr. Friedwart Ziemer | EurekAlert!
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