Our Research and Development (R&D) programme identifies and strives to remove technical, environmental and economic obstacles to viable growth in wind power. This is achieved through long-term, strategic R&D aimed at developing key tools and competencies.
The overall objectives of the wind R&D programme are to increase our competence and enhance the technology to support the implementation of commercial large-scale wind power.
The wind R&D programme is focused on five technology platforms:
- Wind resource and micro-siting
- Turbine and foundation technology
- System integration and grid connection
- Operation and maintenance
- Acceptance and environment
Wind resource and micro-siting
This includes providing reliable production estimates, mapping severe turbine placements in complex terrain, assessing noise emission, and understanding special challenges associated with forests and/or cold climates.
In terms of offshore wind resources, we deal with methods for estimating wake losses within a park and shadow effects between adjacent parks. Finally, the development of production forecasting methods for wind power aims at better power system management, better short-term scheduling of operation and maintenance work, and better foresight in energy trading.
Turbine and foundation technology
Making the right technology choices is essential to the long-term profitability of wind power investments. Our R&D is engaged in assessment of new turbine and foundation concepts, as well as analysing the processes of wear, fatigue, and corrosion that limit the operational lifetime of components and subsystems.
System integration and grid connection
Our R&D in this platform focuses on investigations to support Vattenfall's choice of power technology solutions and our own knowledge build-up.
Another important R&D field is to find best possible methods for cable installation and diagnostics. The aim is to find or develop the most cost-efficient solutions with increased life length and reliability while observing grid codes, legislation, and different local requirements.
Operation and maintenance
With almost 1,000 turbines in operation, questions concerning improvement of operations and maintenance (O&M) are very important. In order to bring down maintenance costs, especially for offshore assets, Vattenfall needs to move from corrective to predictive O&M regime that realises the cost reduction potential of better work scheduling and spare part management.
Examples of areas covered include communication standards and condition monitoring for wind turbines, early fault detection methods, inspection methodologies, and documentation standards.
Acceptance and environment
The overall objective is to contribute to successful project development and increased acceptance for wind power. The platform aims to support projects that increase knowledge of the environmental aspects of wind energy, and facilitate information exchange within Vattenfall.