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Wind energy could be much cheaper says Dutch firm Deltares

Initial scale modelling tests are focusing on the impact of steep and breaking waves on wind turbine pile structure
Wind energy could be much cheaper says Dutch firm Deltares

Dutch firm Deltares has started to conduct initial scale modelling tests in order to investigate how the cost of wind energy could be reduced. The project follows the statement by members of the Joint Industry Project ‘Wave Impact on Fixed turbine’ (JIP WiFi) that wind turbines at sea could be made much cheaper. The project believes that the design rules currently used to determine the impact of breaking waves on the turbines are very conservative and that through improvements in the design guidelines and establishing a clearer picture of the interaction between the turbines and the maximum wave load, material costs can be cut by 10 percent.

Researchers at Deltares are now studying in detail the impact of steep and breaking waves on the pile structure of offshore wind farms. The study will also involve an examination of the influence of currents and bed morphology and the data obtained will allow a better estimate of the risks and enable the design rules to be improved so that designers and builders of offshore wind turbines can optimise their designs.

The results of the tests will be made available to participants during the course of 2014 and the main conclusions, as well as amendments to the design rules, are scheduled for mainstream release to the public two years after the conclusion of the JIP.   

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