Power curve measurements

Power curve measurements are crucial

Measurement of wind turbine power curves is a key issue for the wind industry. It is used to verify a wind turbine performance, namely verifying it works as it should and allowing to optimize energy production. It can be used as a contractual verification performance (warranty) during the commissioning of a wind farm or as an operational tool to accurately monitor turbine performance and detect under-performances.

At last, relative power curves can be used to precisely measure AEP improvement after a change of parameter or a maintenance action.

Limitations of traditional methods to measure power curves

Traditionally, the reference method to measure a power curve involves using a meteorological mast. While this is an accurate method, and supported by the IEC 61400-12-1 standard, measuring a power curve with a mast has its limitations.

First, many wind farms do not have a met mast. If there is one, as a met-mast is fixed, only a limited number of turbines can be tested with one mast. Installing or moving an existing met-mast to test other turbines adds administrative burdens and costs. The cost and difficulty also greatly depends on the type of terrain. While costs can be kept relatively low in simple terrain, it gets trickier in complex terrains where installation is complicated. Offshore, costs are tenfold as you need to construct a platform.

One alternative method is to use nacelle-based anemometers. These can always be used but measurements come with high uncertainties and need specific corrections to compensate for the perturbations caused by the rotor.

Our solution

With the Wind Iris, all of these problems inherent to the use of met-masts are avoided with a single and simple operational tool. It allows for accurate and affordable measurements, resulting in reduced cost of energy and increased competitiveness.

Watch the video illustrating power curves measurements: