The Netherlands Upgrading North Sea Offshore Wind Atlas

Dutch researchers are working on a new atlas featuring accurate information about North Sea winds for use in wind energy applications.

Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), and Whiffle, a Delft University of Technology spin-off, have gathered around the Dutch Offshore Wind Atlas (DOWA) project that was launched in June 2017 and will last until December 2019.

DOWA is expected to be available for use in tenders for new offshore wind farms off the southern Holland coast (Scheveningen), and the coast further north (Egmond). The tool will enable a more accurate estimate of how much wind energy can be generated and how robust wind turbines need to be made to prevent damage or failure, the researchers said.

As part of the DOWA project, the existing KNMI North Sea Wind (KNW) atlas, cataloging wind information up to an altitude of 200m will be extended to include information from 2014 until now, enabling the dataset to be used to predict wind energy production in wind farms now in the planning phase, the researchers said.

The new atlas is expected to chart changes in the wind within a 24-hour period more effectively, and provide wind information from layers of air at an altitude of up to 600m. The DOWA project will also focus on the wind in the lee of an individual wind turbine or complete wind farm. Especially for the DOWA project, ECN has purchased LiDAR equipment that makes it possible to use laser to scan wind fields at an altitude of several kilometres.

The DOWA-project has been commissioned by the Dutch national government.

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