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Archive for the category “wind”

“Assembling Offshore Wind-towers Onshore is Cheaper”

State of the art offshore installation. Can it really be done more economically than this?

The cheapest and fastest way to install an offshore wind turbine is to assemble it completely onshore first, including the monopile. That’s the outcome of research done by the University of Delaware. The method employed is to not work with a single large monopile ramed into the sea floor, but with several “buckets” that are suctioned into the sea floor at less depth and less acoustic impact for sea mammals. Starting base was a hypothetical large 1 GW offshore wind farm in the Delaware Wind Energy Area off Rehoboth Beach, Del., using the port near Delaware City and working with 10 MW turbines. Results: $1.6 billion less cost and only half the construction time.

[udel.edu] – Industrializing Offshore Wind Energy Development
[4coffshore.com] – Suction Bucket or Caisson Foundations
[offshorewind.biz] – University of Delaware

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Wind Power Returns to Shipping

No it is not sails, but rotating cylinders, generating the Magnus effect.

Hywind Scotland – the World’s First Floating Wind Farm Operational

Offshore wind no longer tied to shallow water, up to 800 m deep is workable.

How a Transition Piece is Made?

[smulders-projects.com]

WindEurope Central Scenario 2017-2020

[windeurope.org] – Wind Energy in Europe: Outlook to 2020

Wind energy tenders

Crane Aeolus Jack-Up Vessel Being Upgraded

Pictures from Schiedam harbor near Rotterdam. The 900 tons crane of the offshore wind jack-up vessel Aeolus is being replaced with a 1600 tons one to prepare the ship for installation of heavier 8 MW wind turbines. Investment volume 300 million euro. The ship is playing an important role in getting the planned 4.5 GW offshore wind capacity installed by 2020 (Germany 6.5 GW and UK 10 GW by 2020). The Aeolus is able top operate in water depths of up to 45 m. The crane adaption has to be made only 3 years after the ship was commissioned, illustrating the rapid pace with which the offshore wind sector is developing and subsequent price decline.

In 2016 the Dutch government was prepared to subsidize 12 cent/kWh, but Danish Dong offered to do it for 7.27 cent. Later Shell, Van Oord, Eneco and Mitsubishi/DGE were awarded the tender for Borssele III & IV for merely 5.45 c/kWh. In Germany tenders were awarded for wind parks to be built in 2024-2025 with no subsidy at all. Won’t be long until wind developers will be fighting over available offshore locations for the privilege of being allowed to build ever larger wind farms.

In 2017 technology has advanced to the tune that monopiles are installed with an 8 m diameter, 80 m long and weighing 1300 tons. Vestas and Siemens are building 8 MW turbines and the next steps towards 10-15 MW machines are being prepared. The Aeolus can install one foundation per day.

[heavyliftnews.com] – “Aeolus” of Van Oord being upgraded with stronger Crane
[maritiemnieuws.nl] – Huisman gaat voor 300 miljoen aan nieuwe kranen bouwen
[ayop.com] – Van Oord lays strong foundations for wind
[maritiemnederland.com] – Waar liggen de limieten in offshore wind?
[noordzeeloket.nl] – Noordzeeloket

Segmented Wind Towers

Offshore Wind Energy 2017 Opening Video

Offshore Wind Energy 2017 conference was held on 6-8 June earlier this year in London.

[offshorewind2017.com] – Official site

V164 3D Training Simulator

Lagerwey L136 4.5MW Onshore WindTurbine Construction

Location: Eemshaven, the Netherlands.
A second L136 tower will be built by the end of the year with a self-climbing crane (see video at the bottom), turning the tower in a self-constructing wind turbine.

[lagerwey.de] – Lagerwey builds the first L136 4.5MW turbines for Growind
[lagerwey.de] – L136-4.0-4.5MW

Still waiting for this one to materialize:

2 GW Offshore Windpower Planned for British Columbia

DONG of Denmark did it again. After acquiring the 1.4GW Hornsea-UK project in the North Sea, they now will build an even bigger 2GW project off the West coast of Canada. For DONG this means an expansion beyond European borders and the Danish wind energy giant could ascend to become one of the global players in wind power that in a few decades will have replaced the mainly Anglo oil majors (“Seven Sisters”). European Seven Brothers, anyone?

[cleantechnica.com] – DONG Partners With NaiKun Wind Energy Group To Develop 2GW BC Offshore Wind Site
[4coffshore.com] – Naikun Haida Energy Field Offshore Wind Farm
[4coffshore.com] – Events on Naikun – Haida Energy Field
[deepresource] – DONG to Build World’s Largest Offshore Wind Park Hornsea-UK
[wikipedia.org] – Seven Sisters (oil companies)
[deepresource] – The Seven Brothers – Europe Taking Lead in US Offshore

DONG to Build World’s Largest Offshore Wind Park Hornsea-UK

DONG Energy of Denmark has won the bid for building the largest offshore wind park to date (1.4 GW), Hornsea-2 in the British part of the North Sea at a record low price guarantee of £57.50/MWh and is scheduled for completion in 2022. DONG is currently working on Hornsea-1 (1.2 GW), to be completed in 2020.

[wikipedia.org] – Hornsea Wind Farm
[cleantechnica.com] – UK Offshore Wind Now Cheaper Than Gas & Nuclear
[cleantechnica.com] – UK Renewable Energy Competitive Auction Yields Record Price Lows

Gasunie Joining North Sea Wind Power Hub Consortium

Earlier today the Dutch company Gasunie has joined the North Sea Wind Power Hub Consortium. The aim is to build an artificial “energy island” in the middle of the North Sea, where wind power to the tune of 100 GW will come together eventually and distributed to countries neighboring the North Sea. Furthermore the participating partners (Netherlands, Germany and Denmark) are serious about producing hydrogen and store it in empty gas fields under the North Sea.

dogger island map north sea

[nos.nl] – Nederlandse energiereuzen gaan wind- en zonne-energie opslaan
[infrasite.nl] – Gasunie treedt toe tot North Sea Wind Power Hub consortium
[wikipedia.org] – Gasunie
[tennet.eu] – Gasunie treedt toe tot North Sea Wind Power Hub
[renews.biz] – Gasunie backs island vision
[renewablesnow.com] – Gas grid operator joins North Sea wind hub concept
[arstechnica.com] – North Sea Wind Power Hub: A giant wind farm to power all of north Europe
[deepresource] – Important Step Taken Towards Energy Hub North Sea
[deepresource] – Power to gas

Wind Shadow Impact

Stanford professor Mark Jacobson denies that extracting large amounts of energy from wind will significantly diminish the effectiveness of the exploited wind resources.

“There is enough for all”.

Wind turbines convert kinetic to electrical energy, which returns to the atmosphere as heat to regenerate some potential and kinetic energy. As the number of wind turbines increases over large geographic regions, power extraction first increases linearly, but then converges to a saturation potential not identified previously from physical principles or turbine properties. These saturation potentials are >250 terawatts (TW) at 100 m globally, approximately 80 TW at 100 m over land plus coastal ocean outside Antarctica, and approximately 380 TW at 10 km in the jet streams.

Thus, there is no fundamental barrier to obtaining half (approximately 5.75 TW) or several times the world’s all-purpose power from wind in a 2030 clean-energy economy.

Note that the EU consumes on average 0.342 TW.

This however still does not answer our question how much wind energy can be extracted from the North Sea.

[stanford.edu] – Saturation wind power potential and its implications for wind energy

European Wind Energy Potential

The “raw technical potential” of wind power in Europe is enormous, if you keep in mind that in 2015 total EU electricity consumption was in the order of 3000 TWh. However in reality there are constraints, mostly of esthetical nature.

This study confirms that wind energy can play a major role in achieving the European renewable energy targets. As Table ES.1 makes apparent, the extent of wind energy resources in Europe is very considerable. Leaving aside some of the environmental, social and economic considerations, Europe’s raw wind energy potential is huge. Turbine technology projections suggest that it may be equivalent to almost 20 times energy demand in 2020.

Onshore, the environmental constraints considered appear to have limited impact on wind energy potential. When Natura 2000 and other designated areas are excluded, onshore technical potential decreased by just 13.7 % to 39000 TWh. However, social constraints, particularly concerns regarding the visual impact of wind farms, may further limit the onshore wind energy development.

Offshore, the environmental and social constraints applied have a larger impact on potential. Using only 4 % of the offshore area within 10 km from the coast and accounting for the restrictions imposed by shipping lane, gas and oil platforms, military areas, Natura 2000 areas etc. reduces the potential by more than 90 % (to 2800 TWh in 2020 and 3500 in 2030). When production costs are compared to the PRIMES baseline average electricity generation cost, the onshore potential for wind decreases to 9600 TWh in 2020, whereas offshore wind potential decreases to 2600 TWh. Despite being a small proportion of the total technical potential, the economically competitive wind energy potential still amounts to more than three times projected demand in 2020. However, high penetration levels of wind power will require major changes to the grid system i.e. at higher penetration levels additional extensions or upgrades both for the transmission and the distribution grid might be required to avoid congestion…

European wind speed data. Best places: North Sea, Baltic, British Isles.

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EROI of Offshore Wind Power [Continued]

Last juli we made a calculation regarding the EROI of wind power, making some assumptions regarding the weight of the wind tower, see link below.

Now we have more accurate data, coming from the implemented Gemini wind farm, consisting of 150 Siemens 4 MW wind turbines. One of these wind turbines weighs in total 1.347 ton max. Annual electricity production Gemini wind farm: 2.6 TWh. That would be 17,333 MWh per turbine annually or 47,487 kWh/turbine/day. We again apply 5555 kWh/ton energy cost in steel production or 7,483 MWh/turbine. Payback time in energy terms: 158 days. Assuming again the worst case scenario of having to transport iron ore from Australia to Europe: 1600 kWh/ton or another 1600 * 1347 = 2,155 MWh which corresponds to 2,155/17,333 = 45 days. Energy payback tower construction + transport iron ore from Australia: 203 days [*]. Assuming an economic life time of 30 years, we arrive at an EROI of 54.

Ignored is here is the energy cost of maintenance and installation. And then there is storage.

[*] – Note that after 30 years the energy to create a new turbine from the scrap steel of the old one is less than the energy required to create a wind tower + turbine from iron ore from Australia. There is no transport energy cost other than to bring the tower to a smelter in Europe and in general the energy cost to create steel from scrap metal is (much) lower than from ore. According to Wikipedia the energy required to produce 1 metric ton of steel from scrap metal in an arc furnace is merely 440 kWh/ton (theoretical minimum 300 kWh). It goes without saying that electricity from wind power and arc furnaces are a match made in heaven and can operate on moments when supply of electricity from power is high. In the link “EU Economic Papers” (p14) it is confirmed that the energy intensity of producing 1 ton of steel from ore is a factor of 10 more intensive than producing 1 ton of steel from scrap metal in an arc furnace. If you take this in account than it follows that the EROI of a wind tower produced from the scrap metal of a previous wind tower is in the order of 500-600 [**] rather than the values 54-60 we calculated for the “first generation” wind tower. In other words, the whole EROI discussion of wind energy is obsolete.

[**] That’s too optimistic. Here an older piece of information from 2008 concerning a 600 kW onshore wind turbine:

Embodied energy
Onshore wind turbine: 0,6MW, height = 50 m, rotor diameter = 40 m
Production 1900 GJ (embodied energy tower + nacelle)
Installation 495 GJ
Maintenance (20 year) 774 GJ
Total 3169 GJ generated energy
Annual electricity production 5015 GJ
Energy payback time 7-8 maanden
EROI 32

If we recycle the old turbine we will have a vastly reduced embodied energy for the 2nd generation machine. But we need energy for extraction and transporting the tower back onshore. With maintenance remaining unchanged we arrive at an EROI of 51 instead of 32. But not “500-600”. Note that this is for a very conservative 20 years life time. So far, to our knowledge two windfarms have been decommissioned, one in Denmark and one in The Netherlands, both functioned for 24 years and there is no reason to assume they could not have functioned for many additional years. If lifetime would increase to 40 years you achieve a doubling of EROI (ignoring maintenance).

[deepresource] – EROI of Offshore Wind
[geminiwindpark.nl] – Gemini wind park
[wikipedia.org] – Electric arc furnace
[ec.europa.eu] – EU Economic Papers
[energy.gov] – Theoretical Minimum Energies To Produce Steel

[steeloncall.info] Over the past half century energy intensity of crude steel production fell with 60%

[eia.gov] Over the coming 23 years energy intensity of steel production is expected to come down even further from 11 to 8 units or 27%.

Renewables Largest Share New Power in Europe

Last year 80% of new installed power in Europe was renewable.

[theguardian.com] –

Wind Shadow – The Fewer, the Better Cheer?

“Don’t take my breath away!”

The largest offshore windfarms to date have cost multi-billion euro’s. Wind Farm Layout Optimization Problem or WFLOP is an important consideration. Can we build random numbers of large wind turbines in the North Sea without harvesting substantial lower energy per turbine?

Gemini wind farm data: 150 turbines of 4 MW each, area 68 km2 or 0.453 km2/turbine, total weight heaviest wind tower 1.347 ton (monopile, transition piece, nacelle and rotor with blades), rotor diameter 130 m. Assuming a layout with square cells, this would correspond with a rib of 673 m or 5 rotor diameters (5D).

But for very large grids with a size much larger than the height of the atmosphere other rules of thumb apply:

For realistic cost ratios, we find that the optimal average turbine spacing may be considerably higher (∼ 15D) then conventionally used in current wind-farm implementations (∼ 7D).

[kuleuven.be] – Optimal turbine spacing in fully developed wind-farm boundary layers

If we were to expand the Gemini wind farm over the entire North Sea, in so far it is suitable for monopile construction (200,000 km2), we would arrive are a grid of squares with a rib of 15 * 130 m = 1950m or an area of 3.8 km2/turbine. Total turbine in the North Sea: 200,000/3.8 = 52,631 turbines of 4 MW each or 211 GW in total.

[researchgate.net] – The Wind Farm Layout Optimization Problem
[]hindawi.com] – Wind Turbine Placement Optimization (Monte Carlo Simulation)
[fenix.tecnico.ulisboa.pt] – Offshore Wind Farm Layout Optimization Regarding Wake Effects and Electrical Losses
[geminiwindpark.nl] – Gemini wind park feiten | cijfers
[youtube.com] – Berlin – Take My Breath Away

Gemini offshore wind farm in Dutch part North Sea

Vestas and Tesla to Combine Forces

The world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer Vestas wants to add storage facilities to its wind farms, hence the new relationship with battery manufacturer Tesla. With an ever increasing installed base of wind power, with a supply of electricity that is inherently variable, storage is becoming increasingly important.

Tesla wants to expands its customer base and move beyond car batteries and home powerwalls.

[bloomberg.com] – Vestas Joins With Tesla to Combine Wind Turbines With Batteries
[windpowermonthly.com] – Vestas confirms Tesla joint project

US Offshore Wind About to Take Off

Inspired by the success of offshore wind in the North Sea, prospects for offshore wind to take off in the North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico look good.

This push may be enough to usher a multi-gigawatt surge in US offshore wind development, led by the first commercial wind farm off Block Island, Rhode Island, commissioned in December 2016. With well-capitalized and experienced offshore wind developers such as Dong Energy, Statoil and Iberdrola eager to demonstrate their 15 years of European offshore wind know-how, it is likely that positive offshore wind market forces can be sustained in the US in the upcoming years… there is a potential capacity for more than 14GW of offshore wind in sites already leased on the US outer continental shelf, which could spark investments of up to $50bn if fully developed.

[rechargenews.com] – Gulf of Mexico will benefit from coming wave of US offshore

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