Ghent University, in collaboration with University College West Flanders and University College Ghent and with the support of the Hercules Foundation has built a field laboratory for small wind turbines. This Small Wind Turbine (SWT) Field Laboratory of the AUGent is located in Ostend along the Esperantolaan, just across the Greenbridge science park.
In contrast to large and medium wind turbines, which have reached a phase of technological maturity, small wind turbines are still plagued by relatively high production and purchase costs and relatively low reliability and energy yield. Most of the small wind turbines are produced by small companies with a limited budget for research and development. For them it is crucial to have a short time-to-markt. Therefore many of the current available small turbines have had no or only a limited field test program. In terms of technological maturity small wind turbines are in the situation that photovoltaic panels were twenty years ago.
To help solve these technological shortcoming, Ghent University Association decided to launch the SWT Field Lab to subject small wind turbines to extensive field tests. During these field tests not only the energy production of the turbine is analysed, but also topics such as noise production, generator design or mast construction are examined – all of this correlated with meteorological data such as wind speed and direction. The purpose of the SWT Field Lab is to isolate performance limiting factors and to improve performance enhancing opportunities, giving the emerging market of small wind energy the necessary wind in the sails.
For more information on the turbines currently installed click here. The graph below shows the powercurve over the last 24 hours.
|Wind speed||Wind direction||Temperature|