18. July 2019 | Press releases:

Flight data of offshore wind farm measurements published Aircraft measurement data of the offshore wind farm project WIPAFF freely accessible

In a joint project, researchers from the Technische Universität Braunschweig have investigated how wind speeds change due to wind turbines at sea. The university’s research aircraft Dornier 128 “D-IBUF” was used to record changes in the wind field behind offshore wind farms. Following the successful completion of the project, these data have now been published and are freely accessible in the world database PANGAEA, for example for simulations.

A total of 41 flights with the research aircraft of TU Braunschweig were carried out with great success to measure the wind fields downwind of offshore parks. The research team of the Institute of Flight Guidance at the TU Braunschweig, headed by Professor Peter Hecker, was particularly interested in the investigation of long-range wake flows: These can form with stable atmospheric stratification when warm air flows over the cooler sea surface. The wind speed can be significantly reduced up to 50 kilometres behind the wind farms. Different weather conditions and seasons were investigated, and the data were evaluated together with the project partners.

“The project has provided us with important insights that will directly influence the further planning of the North Sea wind farm expansion”, explains Dr. Astrid Lampert, head of the subproject at Technische Universität Braunschweig.

The first results have already been published in several scientific journals and presented at scientific conferences. The publication of the entire data set now enables research groups worldwide to use the data for their own investigations and in particular for the validation of simulations. The findings are of great interest for the further efficient and environmentally compatible expansion of offshore wind power.

About the joint research project “WIPAFF“

The motivation to launch the “Windpark-Fernfeld (WIPAFF)” project came from satellite images. They showed a change in the roughness of the sea surface behind wind farms.Also numerical simulations predicted the existence of far-reaching  wakes behind offshore wind parks. Within the framework of WIPAFF, these effects were measured for the first time directly on site on a large scale by airplane. The data were evaluated in combination with other measurement data, satellite images and simulations.

The research project is coordinated by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In addition to the Institute of Flight Guidance of the TU Braunschweig, the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and UL International GmbH (formerly DEWI German Wind Energy Institute) are involved. It was funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy over a period of three years with a total sum of 1.75 million euros, of which around 480,000 euros were for the sub-project at the TU Braunschweig.