PGE Baltica, a PGE-owned company, and the Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPM PAN) in Gdansk have completed a research project that started in early 2020 to investigate the effect of blocking wind flow by large offshore wind farms. As a result of the work, an advanced model of air flow through offshore installations was created. It will be used to more accurately predict the productivity of offshore wind farms and will help in planning the most effective placement of turbines at sea.
Experts from PGE Baltica and the Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery of the Polish Academy of Sciences conducted research in 2020-2021 aimed at better understanding the wind blockage effect occurring in the vicinity of offshore wind farms. By studying this phenomenon, it is possible to estimate how much energy a given offshore wind farm will be able to generate. As a result of analyses based on wind research, experts created an engineering model. It will be used in the execution of the PGE Group Offshore Programme.
– One of the crucial elements of the preparatory stage of the offshore investment is the estimation of its future productivity. Therefore, we decided to conduct analyses aimed at investigating the effect of wind slowdown associated with the operation of offshore wind farms. We decided to carry out this activity with a Polish scientific unit. Thanks to the created wind flow model we will be able to plan the most effective deployment of individual turbines of our wind farms in the Baltic and estimate their productivity even more accurately – said Monika Morawiecka, CEO of PGE Baltica.
– Many years of work on the development of computational methods in aerodynamics enabled the development of a model to assess the impact of a wind farm on the wind speed in its surroundings. The completed project with PGE Baltica is an example of cooperation between the scientific and academic community and business partners, which is one of the conditions for maximising the so-called local content in offshore wind energy investments in Polish areas – Paweł Flaszyński, professor at IMP PAN.
The impact of slowing down the wind flow was investigated by PGE Baltica and IMP PAN by means of numerical fluid mechanics, a branch of science dealing with simulations in the field of hydro and aerodynamics. The reliability of the performed research was confirmed by comparing the results with data from an existing offshore wind farm in the North Sea.
The phenomenon of slowing wind flow through large offshore wind farms has been widely discussed in the industry since 2018, when the first research results demonstrating its impact on turbine operation were published. A year later, PGE Baltica and IMP PAN decided to cooperate in order to better understand this phenomenon. In 2019, the entities signed a cooperation agreement in this field, and research work began in 2020.