A French experiment examines how turbulence affects wind turbines

Lidar will be used by Powseidom to describe how severe winter storms affect offshore wind turbines in the Mediterranean.

James Davis

In an effort to better understand turbulence in the Mediterranean's Gulf of Lion and how it affects the profitability of offshore wind farms, EDF and Engie Green are taking part in a French study initiative.

The Powseidom project characterizes wind turbulence at sea utilizing remote sensing tools, such as profiling lidar, which are less costly.

Onshore and offshore wind resources are characterized using lidar technology, but the Powseidom project will evaluate its deployment to gauge turbulence.
On the island of Planier, the partners will deploy a Vaisala WindCube v2.1 profiling lidar that has been IEC 61400-12-1 certified as part of the project.

This location was picked because it serves as an example of offshore circumstances similar to those at potential wind farm locations in the Mediterranean.

As Planier experiences a lot of turbulence during winter storms, the campaign will allow the partners to examine how strong winds' properties have changed over time.

The first-ever Mediterranean database of wind and turbulence data collected at sea will be launched after a full year of monitoring.

While the information on average wind speed and direction is of interest to various stakeholders, information on turbulence intensity is of considerable value to wind farm developers, said the Powseidom consortium.

The research team is developing a new turbulence intensity reconstruction technique that will use the observations taken at sea.

The data produced will aid in improving wind turbine design and boosting project profitability.

Other partners include Central Marseille, Vaisala and France Energies Marines.