With mankind facing the crucial challenge to make the transition to a sustainable resilient society by developing and exploiting alternative resources of energy this course provides the essential insights into the design process of wind turbines and wind farms. An area of high practical relevance in view of the rapidly increasing importance of wind energy, the size of wind turbines in terms of e.g., blade length and generated power, and the increasing economic competitiveness relative to traditional fossil fuel-based methods. Introduces students into the science behind wind energy conversion systems, the relevant aspects for design and evaluating designs, as well as to non-technical issues related to wind energy.|
The course assumes no prior knowledge, but a sound grasp of the basic concepts in mechanics, as well as operational familiarity with calculus greatly facilitate the learning process.
Concerning the learning objectives. The student will be able to…
- assess wind data and use its outcome to determine the annual energy production,
- explain the basic aerodynamic principles behind the energy extraction mechanism of a lift-based wind turbine, perform rotor blade cross-sections analysis, design of a rotor blade,
- explain the structural dynamics of a wind turbine in several operating scenario’s, discuss the impact of eigenfrequencies on its design,
- discuss the economics of a wind farm using key economic parameters and the effects of interest rates and inflation rates on investment choices,
- synthesize the effect of a wind turbine wake on the power production of downstream wind turbines,
- communicate about a topic of choice related to wind energy to different stakeholders.
In this course attention is focused on the description of the methods that are used in the design process of a wind turbine and of wind farms. In particular the following five topics are treated.
- Characteristics of the wind and statistical methods to describe the wind
- Fundamentals of energy extraction and aerodynamics of wind turbine blades
- Dynamics of wind turbines
- Economics of wind energy
- Wakes and wind farm aerodynamics
For each of the five topics in the list there is a corresponding assignment to test the acquisition of the learning goals. All assignments contain open questions that require that a report is written that discusses the topic at hand and its connection to previous statements. An additional assignment is given to write a research paper on a topic of choice related to wind energy. These six assignments are executed and reported by groups of 3 or 4 students. A presentation on the last assignment is given at the mini conference at the end of the course. Besides the lectures, there is also a practicum in the wind tunnel, where force measurements for an aerodynamic profile are carried out. The results of the experiment are reported and contribute to the overall grade. The grading of this course will be based upon the reports, the presentation, and the active contribution of the group during the presentations of other groups.