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WindForS Research Cluster Establishes Office and Launches Further Research Project

Wind Energy for Complex Terrain

Use of wind energy at challenging sites such as the mountainous regions of southern Germany is at the heart of WindForS, the wind energy research cluster in southern Germany.

For a period of three years, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts is providing the funds for a WindFors office at the University of Stuttgart. The initial funding is meant to help professionalise the cluster’s activities and enable its members to start work on the proposed goals. The WindForS office will be the first point of contact for the proposed test field in southern Germany and will press ahead with its realisation.

In order to reach the goals set for the installation of wind power capacity onshore, it will be crucially important that turbines can be operated on difficult terrain such as woods, montainous terrain and on ridges. On account of their meteorological particularities and their complex loading situation these turbines pose a significant challenge to wind turbine manufacturers.

Against this background, WindForS aims to continually improve the economic viability of wind energy use in complex-mountainous terrain and at the same time to take into account ecological and landscape aspects. To this end, the WindForS partners intend to develop technical and non-technical solutions for wind energy use on sites that are topologically difficult such as the mountainous regions of southern Germany.

The research cluster includes as partners the University of Stuttgart, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the University of Tübingen, TU München, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg as well as the Universities of Applied Sciences of Aalen and Esslingen. The WindForS office will be mainly concerned with initiating further research projects on a national and international level. It is headed by Andreas Rettenmeier who has been employed with the wind energy unit at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute of Aircraft Design since 2004 and played a vital part in initiating WindForS.

KonTest Project – Test Field Design
Only recently “KonTest“, the second WindForS research project funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, has been launched. The main purpose of the two-year collaborative project is to design a wind test field in southern Germany and to find a test field location in Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria. The project results will subsequently be used in setting up a wind test site in complex mountainous terrain. In addition to meteorological masts, one or two research wind turbines of the 600-900 KW class with rotor diameters of about 40 - 80 m will be installed. These will be used to prepare, test and validate new technologies in terms of materials, design methods, aerodynamics, load monitoring, noise reduction, manufacturing engineering, operation management, measurement tools and techniques as well as monitoring. Further research will focus on energy storage and grid integration. Taking into account the experiences gained in, among others, the “alpha ventus” offshore project, issues of landscape aesthetics and ecology are seen as of vital importance and will therefore play an important part in designing the test field as well as in its operation.
For further information please contact:
Andreas Rettenmeier, Universität Stuttgart, Stiftungslehrstuhl Windenergie, Tel. +49 711 685-68325

email: rettenmeier (at),

For the KonTest project: Jan Anger, Tel. +49 711 685-68289,
email: Anger (at)
Andrea Mayer-Grenu, Universität Stuttgart, Abt. Hochschulkommunikation,
Tel. 0711/685-82176, email: andrea.mayer-grenu (at)

Andrea Mayer-Grenu | idw
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