Sopcawind, a multidisciplinary tool for designing wind farms

June 10, 2014

The development of a wind farm is a process in which various factors need to be taken into consideration to ensure that the resource is properly used and that appropriate planning is carried out to minimise the effects it could have. "The fundamental parameter to take into account when designing a wind farm is the wind or wind potential. Another very important factor is the orography of the land," explained David de la Vega, a member of the Signal Processing and Radiocommunications Group (TSR). "Apart from these two main factors, the environmental factor and perhaps not such obvious factors like the telecommunications services (weather radars, air traffic control radars, radionavigation aids, television, data radio links, etc.) also feature", added la Vega. What happens in many cases is that the telecommunications service may not located next to the farm, and "although interference is not common, a wind farm can alter a radar signal that is 10-20 kilometres away," stressed the researcher in the Signal Processing and Radiocommunications Group (TSR).

Thanks to the European SOPCAWIND project, the UPV/EHU's TSR group is participating in the development of a tool to facilitate the design of wind farms, bearing in mind not only the aspects of energy productivity but also the possible impact they could have on the environment, radars or other telecommunications systems.

Impact studies

SOPCAWIND is the first software tool that integrates into a single application a complex, multidisciplinary database that accommodates all the data needed for the above-mentioned criteria, apart from the algorithms needed to carry out these studies. With all these functionalities, the tool facilitates the design work of the wind farm developer and makes it possible to ensure that all the above-mentioned aspects are taken into consideration in the wind farm design process, thus avoiding any trouble. "Thanks to this tool, firstly the design process of the wind farm is much more fluid, and secondly, the developer knows in advance if there is any trouble and can include modifications in the wind farm in order to avoid it, which is a key aspect," pointed out Daniel de la Vega.

The UPV/EHU's Signal Processing and Radiocommunications Group (TSR) has contributed mainly with the algorithms that enable possible impact on radars, air navigation system aids and other telecommunications systems to be evaluated. "We have developed the algorithms to find out the impact caused by wind farms on telecommunications systems (TV, data radio links, radars and air navigation aids) and we have incorporated them into the tool," explained de la Vega.

"Because these impact studies are conducted before the wind farm is built, they allow potential interference to be detected if it does in fact exist, and so the wind farm developer will be able to include modifications in the design of the wind farm in order to prevent that trouble," pointed out de la Vega. That way, the impact studies allow the wind energy to be developed without degrading the existing telecommunications systems.

The SOPCAWIND project has been supported by the European Union within the FP7 programme (FP7-ICT-2011-SME-DCL Grant Agreement 296164), and has been developed by a European consortium comprising Tecnalia, UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, GeoX (Hungary), 3E (Belgium), Anemos (Germany) and Eurohelp (Spain).

The research group

The Signal Processing and Radiocommunications Group (TSR) belongs to the Department of Communications Engineering of the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Engineering in Bilbao. The research group is led by Dr Juan Luis Ordiales-Basterretxea and comprises 11 lecturers, 3 post-PhD researchers and various PhD students and engineers on contracts. The main subject of the group's research is digital radio broadcasting. Within this subject there are various lines of research and one of them is based on characterising the possible interference on telecommunications systems (TV, data radio links, radars and air navigation aids)which can be caused by wind farms.

By means of field measurements, the research group characterised the signal emitted by wind turbines over the UHF waveband and evaluated its influence on the quality of the television signal. The results were presented at the International Telecommunication Union, the regulating body of international telecommunications, and were included in the process to draw up a new recommendation. Should this process meet with success, the results of the research carried out at the UPV/EHU could form part of the international regulation in this matter.
-end-
Reference

I. Angulo, D. de la Vega, I. Cascón, J. Cañizo, Y. Wu, D. Guerra, P. Angueira. "Impact analysis of wind farms on telecommunication services". Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 32: 84-99. (2014). DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2013.12.055

University of the Basque Country

Related Wind Energy Articles from Brightsurf:

Policy, not tech, spurred Danish dominance in wind energy
In a new study focused on Denmark, a global leader in wind energy - a relatively mature and low-cost renewable technology - researchers found that government policies have been the primary driver of that industry's growth and development.

Wind forecasts power up for reliable energy production
Prediction of wind speed and direction for up to several hours in advance improves Saudi Arabia's wind energy potential.

This tiny device can scavenge wind energy from the breeze you make when you walk
Most of the wind available on land is too gentle to push commercial wind turbine blades, but now researchers in China have designed a kind of 'tiny wind turbine' that can scavenge wind energy from breezes as little as those created by a brisk walk.

FSU engineering researchers harness wind data to help meet energy needs in Florida
A new study from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering shows how upcoming technological advances could make wind energy a hot commodity in the Sunshine State.

Blueprint may power up KSA's wind energy future
High-resolution analysis of wind speed across Saudi Arabia can help fast track the expansion of the Kingdom's emerging world-class wind energy industry.

Hydropower plants to support solar and wind energy in West Africa
Study maps smart electricity mix composed of solar, wind and hydropower for West Africa -- regional cooperation can provide up to 60% reliable and clean electricity

Solar and wind energy sites mapped globally for the first time
Researchers at the University of Southampton have mapped the global locations of major renewable energy sites, providing a valuable resource to help assess their potential environmental impact.

Energy generated on offshore wind turbine farms, and conveyed ashore as hydrogen fuel
Researchers at the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Engineering -Vitoria-Gasteiz have proposed using the energy generated on offshore wind turbine farms to produce hydrogen in situ instead of conveying it ashore by cable.

Quadrupling turbines, US can meet 2030 wind-energy goals
The United States could generate 20% of its electricity from wind within 10 years, without requiring any additional land, according to Cornell University research published in Nature Scientific Reports.

Biodiversity and wind energy
The location and operation of wind energy plants are often in direct conflict with the legal protection of endangered species.

Read More: Wind Energy News and Wind Energy Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.