EERA Sub-programmes provide a structure to the Joint Programme. They are divided into different research areas, allowing participants to work in an organized fashion.
SP3: Wind conditions and climatic effects
Coordinator : Jake Badger, DTUMore information on this subprogramme
To meet the growth in the deployment of wind energy technology worldwide, each year many tens of thousands of wind turbines sites must be assessed in terms of their wind conditions. The reduction of the cost of wind energy is strongly dependent on the ability to accurately estimate the wind resource and the design wind conditions. Many offshore and complex terrain wind farm projects are hampered by unforeseen wind conditions leading to difficulty estimating production and design conditions. Furthermore, uncertainties in the estimation of site wind condition, including those related to climate change, will also have consequences in risk analysis for building, operation, maintenance and dismantling phases of wind farms. In this sub-programme the purpose is to explore and align medium- and long-term research activities in order to lay the scientific foundation for more accurate estimation of wind conditions and climatic effects, through new measurement and modelling methodologies. Some specific challenges include: the increasing size of the very large wind turbines, the increasing size of very large wind farms and their interaction with environmental conditions, and the need to extend the new areas to install a wind farm regions challenging in terms of modelling and observational strategies such as deep waters and very complex terrain. Large scale deployment also implies deployment of long term infrastructure with life times longer than individual turbines. Therefore assessment of climatic effects plays increasingly stronger role. A cooperative effort between research centres will be essential to tackle the scientific questions poised in tackling these issues.
SP4: Aerodynamics, loads and control
Coordinator : Xabier Munduate, CENERMore information on this subprogramme
The design risks increase significantly for large 10-20MW wind turbines, in particular for offshore applications. Increasing rotor size significantly contributes to reduce the cost of energy while at the same time increasing the capacity factor of the wind farms. The larger the turbines need to become, the more optimised and thus flexible the structure becomes and materials are utilised to their limits, thus loads and fluctuating loads must be handled and controlled more carefully. For this reason even more advanced and accurate design and analysis tools are required from an integral design perspective or system engineering approach. These models should include issues as large blade deflections and deformations, more extreme inflow wind conditions, wave loading of (floating) support structures, applied to steadily more cost-effective and possibly new designs. High performance computing should enable the implementation of high fidelity tools in the design process. The coupling to control of wind turbines is essential for the design and evaluation of large flexible blades.
The field of research in SP Aerodynamics, loads and control is among others
Wind turbine aerodynamics; the modelling of the wind flow around the rotor, the energy extraction from the wind flow, the design of rotors and the impact of the rotor on the wind power system.
Loads and structural design; the design of the turbine is a combination of aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, structural dynamics, wind turbine control and material response.
Wind turbine control; handling loads and optimising power production by advanced control, in an integral wind turbine design control is an essential ingredient that ensures cost effective solutions.
SP5: System Integration
Coordinator : Nicolaos Cutululis, DTUMore information on this subprogramme
Wind power is a mature and important clean technology. The continuously increasing share of wind energy into the electricity generation mix calls for a renewed attention to the system integration of wind power.
This sub-programme aims at addressing some of the major aspects of future power systems with very large shares of wind power. The main goal is to remove barriers to wind power system integration. World-leading experts in this field contribute to the exchange of experiences and practices in integrating large amounts of wind power. Close cooperation with industry ensures that the activities in the sub-programme contribute to bridging the gap between research and successful deployment enabling economic and reliable power system operation with large shares of wind energy.
Main research areas include grid planning and operation, wind power plant capabilities, and wind energy and power management.
SP7 Structures, materials and components
Coordinator : Arno van WingerdeMore information on this subprogramme
In the last decades, wind turbines have grown to be amongst the largest and highest loaded structures. Coupled with a need for lower energy costs, this means that the requirements an materials and structures are extremely high. This SP aims to bring together the leading European research organizations in order to support the industry fulfilling these requirements.
In turn, this implies a full understanding of structural response and increased knowledge of material behaviour in order to develop the appropriate tools and lay the basis for standards for designing such large structures, undertaking very high fluctuating loads, with increased reliability and reduced maintenance needs, while complying with all constraints of the wind turbine system. This combination of requirements is not encountered in any other structural sector (oil & gas, aeronautics, naval structures, civil works) and certainly presents a challenge for the engineering community. Materials, including better knowledge of properties, new and improved materials and their degradation and failure mechanisms provide new opportunities for weight and cost reductions, higher reliability and improved manufacture of blades, structures and mechanical components.
SP8: Planning & Deployment, social, environmental and economic issues
Coordinator : Lena Kitzing, DTUMore information on this subprogramme
While much research focuses on technical development of wind turbines and plant components, economic and social aspects are also of crucial importance for the successful deployment of the technology. With increasing shares of wind energy in the energy systems, economic and social aspects become more and more challenging. This sub-programme explores the major economic and social challenges for wind energy now and in the future and investigates how they can be addressed and mitigated. Theories and approaches for the analysis of economic and social challenges are developed and enhanced, and specifically tailored to the area of wind energy. Data is collected on trends and forecasts made based on simulations and modelling in relation to economic factors. Well-established methods of understanding and engaging the public are employed for social science-related research and new applications to wind energy are explored. Close cooperation between industry, communities, and policy makers ensures that this sub-programme helps to bridge the gap between technology development and its success in the market and in local areas. Main research areas include component and system costs of wind energy including cost reduction potentials, economic incentives and support mechanisms, integration into energy systems, adapting power markets for wind energy, environmental impacts, public engagement strategies, and improvements to the planning processes for both offshore and onshore wind projects.