How to measure the invisible

Research team from Oldenburg develops innovative wind measurement techniques within a European network

The Center for Wind Energy Research (ForWind) at the University of Oldenburg is one of ten institutions from five European countries in the training and education program LIKE (LIdar Knowledge Europe). LIKE fosters the training of a total of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) on emerging laser-based wind measurement technologies and their translation into industrial applications. The program is funded by the EU for four years as an Innovative Training Network (ITN) within the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

For the efficient operation of wind turbines and wind farms, exact knowledge of wind conditions is needed. With the knowledge of when and where the wind blows at what speed, wind farms can be optimized, individual turbines can be operated more efficiently, and predictions of turbine performance can be improved. In recent years, remote sensing techniques, so-called lidar devices (lidar stands for "LIght Detection And Ranging"), have proven their worth in wind measurement. The measuring method is like the speed trap in traffic control, except that it does not measure the speed of the vehicles, but the speed of tiny particles and droplets in the air that are transported by the wind. Scientists see great potential in the optimization of this measurement technology and a wide range of possible applications in the industrial sector. In the LIKE training network, the young researchers will investigate how to improve and refine the technology and test it in new application areas as part of their doctoral theses.

Arjun Anantharaman is one of the PhD students in LIKE and started his research work at ForWind in February. "In my PhD thesis I am looking into Doppler lidar measurements for the detection of wakes occurring behind wind turbines. These wakes are characterized by higher turbulence and lower wind speeds, which has a negative impact on the service life or performance of the downstream wind turbines," says Anantharaman. "I will try to improve these measurements at greater distances. This could give us a better understanding of the wake phenomena and their interaction with wind turbines and wind farms and may advance the further analysis of lidar data in this application area."

“For the University of Oldenburg, LIKE is an opportunity to strengthen networking in the field of wind energy research. Within the framework of the program there will be a lively exchange of scientific and technical knowledge across the disciplines. As a result of this and also through their research stays with project partners, our early stage researchers will also aid the forming of strong interdisciplinary relations between industry and academia," says Prof. Dr. Martin Kühn, leader of the work package "Network Training" in LIKE.

Partners in LIKE:

Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), University of Oldenburg (Germany), University of Bergen (Norway), University of Stuttgart (Germany), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), University of Porto (Portugal), University of Stavanger (Norway), Flensburg University of Applied Science (Germany), Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (Germany) and UL International GmbH (Germany).

back to the overview