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Posted: May 30, 2013
Pioneering system for measuring offshore wind farms set up in Badalona
(Nanowerk News) Neptune, a pioneering system that performs offshore wind measurements, has begun to operate today at the Petroleum Bridge in Badalona. It consists of an eOLOS buoy to measure velocity profiles and wind direction high above sea level, and NEPTool, a tool that predicts wind speed, sea currents and waves in the short and long term with high spatial and temporal resolution.
KIC InnoEnergy is a consortium comprising the Institute for Energy Research of Catalonia (IREC), the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, BarcelonaTech (UPC), the Energy, Environment and Technology Research Centre (CIEMAT) in Madrid, GasNatural Fenosa and other organisations. All of these organisations, the University of Stuttgart (SWE) and the company Solucions d'Enginyeria Marítima Operacionals (SIMO) developed and promoted this revolutionary project, which will reduce the costs of offshore wind energy. Knowledge of weather conditions at the exact location where an offshore wind farm is to be located reduces the financial risk of the operation.
The eOLOS buoy
The Neptune project arises from the need for accurate and detailed information about the behaviour of winds, waves and currents in the early stages of planning a wind farm in the Mediterranean Sea. There are currently no systems that measure and correctly predict the behaviour of the wind and waves for a marine location that has special features such as the Mediterranean Sea.
Currently available forecasting models offer acceptable results for sea areas that do not have complex oceanographic or meteorological phenomena, such as the North Sea, where there are wind farms installed and observational databases are available. However, these models are not directly applicable to the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of Spain, which require specific tools because of their complexity.
The project’s director, Frieder Schuon, the head of the AERO group at the IREC, stresses the importance of this project, which "will allow us to measure the resources and conditions at sea with greater precision and at a lower cost. Greater precision means less financial risk in offshore projects."
The eOLOS buoy and NEPTool
The eOLOS buoy that was installed today at the Petroleum Bridge in Badalona is used to measure wind conditions, waves and currents at any marine location, regardless of the depth. The buoy is equipped with sensors for measuring currents and waves and a computer system with LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology and can measure wind speeds at different heights above the sea surface. The software analyses and validates the measurements taken by the buoy.
The system can measure vertical wind profiles that reach heights of over 200 metres above sea level, thereby avoiding the need for meteorological towers anchored to the seabed or floating towers at a cost of up to 10 times more than the developed solution. The buoy was designed and developed at the Maritime Engineering Laboratory of the UPC (LIM/UPC). The UPC’s Remote Sensing Research Group (RSLAB) and the University of Stuttgart collaborated in checking its proper operation.
NEPTool, a new high-resolution software that provides short- and medium-term estimates of winds, currents and waves by integrated simulation of atmospheric and ocean conditions, was developed by the Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT), the LIM/UPC and the UPC spin-off SIMO. eOLOS and NEPTool are innovations in the field of offshore wind energy because they can be used to analyse the financial risks of installing wind farms, to plan their operation and maintenance and forecast the energy they will generate.
Although the project is being developed in the Mediterranean, its application may be extended to other marine areas, particularly those with complex features.ery promising alternative for producing pure co-crystals quickly, with limited use of solvents.”