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Research focus

RESEARCH FOCUS

  1. Characterisation of the threshold atmospheric layer and methods of estimating wind power production
    1. Understanding and investigation (meteorological, thermodynamic, etc.) of the atmospheric icing phenomenon in all its different forms (frost, freezing rain, ice, etc.) and the conditions likely to cause its formation (freezing fog, freezing drizzle, freezing rain, slush, etc.).
    2. Development, investigation and comparison of measurement instruments and methods that can be used to detect and characterise frost.
    3. Investigation of the impact of icing conditions on the energy performance of wind turbines and wind power plants (e.g.: experimental validation of different energy loss theories (Lima), etc.).
    4. Development, investigation and comparison of anti-icing methods for wind turbines and instrumentation.
    5. Development, investigation and comparison of short-term forecasting methods to predict performance losses due to icing conditions.
    6. Development, investigation and comparison of long-term forecasting methods (weather adjustment) associated with energy losses due to icing conditions.
    7. Investigation of the impact of climate change on the incidence of icing conditions.


  2. Study and characterisation of the performance of wind turbines in icing conditions
    1. Investigation, evaluation and development of mechanical components, methods, and equipment for wind turbines and related systems adapted to northern climates (e.g.: ice-phobic materials, speed-increasing units, lubrication systems, ladders, etc.).
    2. Investigation, evaluation and development of measurement instruments specifically associated with the wind energy field in northern settings (ex.: anemometers with heated cups, heated sonic anemometers, etc.)

  3. In-field trials for businesses and assistance in obtaining certification/accreditation
    1. Support for businesses as they work towards obtaining certification.
    2. Technical validation services.
    3. Technology showcases.
    4. Participation in specialised wind energy work groups (e.g.: IEC standards, TC88 working group, etc.)


  4. Wind farm operation and maintenance
    1. Development and validation of procedures and good practices guides for predictive and preventive maintenance – particularly for the operation of wind power plants in northern settings and complex terrain.
    2. Development and validation of procedures and good practices guides for health and safety – particularly for the operation of wind power plants in northern settings and complex terrain.
    3. Development, investigation and evaluation of applications, analysis, software, communication means and any other methods (existing or in development) that can be used to operate and maintain a wind power plant (e.g.: OSIsoft's PI system).
    4. Development, investigation and evaluation of applications, analysis, software, communication means and any other methods (existing or in development) that can be used to monitor the performance of a wind power plant (e.g.: alarm management, control, OSIsoft's PI system)
    5. Investigation and analysis of the evolution in the performance of wind turbines over time.
    6. Analysis of the availability of wind turbines and related systems + establishment of clear methods and definitions.
    7. Monitoring of the service life of components (e.g.: gear box, tower, foundation, etc.).
    8. Participation in specialised wind energy work groups (e.g.: UWIG)


  5. Wind hybrids with other sources of energy and electricity production at remote sites
    1. Consolidation of the expertise acquired in small wind research.
    2. Study, development and improvement of technologies used in the small wind field.
    3. Integration of wind energy production into the grid island (small grid) in remote regions and northern villages.
    4. Study and development of hybrid power plants incorporating wind, diesel and solar, energy storage devices and other technological networks.
    5. Modeling and simulation of hybrid system operation in real time.
    6. Study and development of control systems for multi-source power plants.


  6. Environmental and human impacts
    1. Study, investigation and comparison of noise emissions from wind turbines (NOISE), particularly in northern settings and with a valley effect.
    2. Analysis and evaluation of the perception and nuisance levels due to wind turbine noise (establishment of a noise nuisance curve vs. sound power – large scale survey).
    3. Establishment of a noise-monitoring methodology (good practices guide) for wind power plants.
    4. Study and analysis of the visual impacts generated by wind power plants; preparation of a good practices guide.
    5. Investigation and preparation of a good practices guide pertaining to ice throw from wind turbines.
    6. Study and analysis of the stroboscopic effect; preparation of a good practices guide.
    7. Study and analysis of electromagnetic interference; preparation of a good practices guide.
    8. Technical or socio-economic analysis of any other potential impact due to wind turbines (e.g.: property values, social acceptability, etc.); preparation of a good practices guide.


  7. Operation, adaptation, evaluation and development of wind power technology, measurement instruments and related systems in northern climates
    1. Understanding, investigation and development of weather concepts associated with the use of wind energy.
    2. Validation, comparison and development of digital models simulating the atmospheric boundary layer in complex terrain. Consideration specific to complex terrain (topography), thermal stability, roughness effects (trees), etc.
    3. Analysis, validation, comparison and development of various methodologies used to prepare budgetary estimates of the net production of a wind power plant (weather adjustment, loss analysis (due to aerodynamic considerations [yaw, wind veer, etc.], performance, electrical considerations, availability, etc.)
    4. Analysis, validation and development of methodologies associated with the evaluation of wind turbine and wind power plant production uncertainties (Pxx).
    5. Investigation, evaluation and development of remote sensing, LIDAR, SODAR and other such instrumentation, with particular attention being given to their performance in complex terrain.
    6. Investigation, evaluation and comparison of the impact of different types of anemometers and their installation on energy production estimation. Analysis of the impact of aging on these instruments.
    7. Investigation, evaluation and comparison of the performance of nacelle-based anemometers, particularly in complex terrain.
    8. Investigation, comparison and development of wake modelling for complex terrain.
    9. Evaluation and improvement of the energy performance of wind power plants.