Dreaming of becoming a wind turbine owner

Wednesday 30 Nov 16
A domestic wind turbine is a dream for many and a way to support the economy of a self-sustained and environmentally friendly home. There is, however, a risk that the dream becomes an economic liability if the power production does not live up to expectations. The web-based tool “myWindTurbine” gives homeowners a tool for assessing the wind turbine energy yield and a newly released validation report evaluates its accuracy. The report demonstrates significant production variations between small wind turbines (SWTs), even when sited in relatively similar open rural areas, thereby highlighting that a wind turbine investment without a prior production assessment is an ill-advised gamble.

A small wind turbine (SWT) constitutes a substantial financial investment for most households, and, therefore, it is crucial not to forget the investment risk when dreaming of a self-sustained and environmentally friendly home. To give homeowners the possibility of assessing the energy yield of SWTs, the web-based tool “myWindTurbine” was released earlier this year (myWT release).

A newly released validation report evaluates the accuracy of myWindTurbine by comparing calculated energy yields of 20 SWTs in Denmark to recorded measurements. The report clearly demonstrates that the energy yield of SWTs is significantly affected by the local surroundings. Even in the case of SWTs placed in relatively open rural areas, sheltering obstacles such as houses and trees can cause significant reductions in the energy yield. This finding was also confirmed by a recent experiment where the wind shelter of a fence was quantified by wind scanner measurements (the fence experiment).

By carefully considering the sheltering effects of obstacles, the validation report shows that myWindTurbine, in the mean, gives unbiased production estimates for the 20 Danish SWTs, and reduces the investment risks of SWTs. Even though the uncertainty on the calculated energy yield has not been eliminated, myWindTurbine can help many aspiring wind turbine owners to fulfil their dreams. Here is the link to the validation report:

Bechmann, A., Conti, D., Davis, N., Hansen, B. O., Kelly, M. C., Mortensen, N. G., Nielsen, M., Badger, J., Peña, A., (2016). MyWindTurbine – Energy Yield Calculations. DTU Wind Energy. (DTU Wind Energy E; No. 00132).

Peña, A., Bechmann, A., Conti, D., Angelou, N., & Troen, I. (2015). Shelter models and observations. DTU Wind Energy. (DTU Wind Energy E; No. 00923).
16 JANUARY 2018