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Conference programme 

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Poster session

Lead Session Chair:
Stephan Barth, Managing Director, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Germany
Steve McCarthy SgurrEnergy Ltd, United Kingdom

(1) SgurrEnergy Ltd, Glasgow, United Kingdom

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The wind farm whisperers: data acquisition and analysis for offshore wind farm optimization


The successful delivery of offshore wind projects in European waters requires
• A complete, accurate and detailed understanding of the wind conditions prevailing at the offshore wind farm sites, and
• A thorough understanding of the response of wind power assets to these conditions.
If these are known,
• The observed wind resource can be reconciled with revenues post-construction,
• Observed production can be reconciled with predictions made pre-construction

Wind farms can be optimized both during design and operation to maximize output and minimise operational expenditure


A single unified approach to the assessment of wind power assets’ total lifecycle compatibility is required in order to achieve meaningful and lasting asset optimisation.

Currently this approach is prevented by discrepancies between project data requirements pre- and post-construction.

These discrepancies are an artefact of limitations in measurement opportunity that are now being overcome, and procedures for project development and operation should be revised to reflect this.

Main body of abstract

Historically the data acquisition agenda has typically been set by pre-construction priorities. These priorities have arisen from the need to secure finance and support investment decisions.

The data requirements this entails have been limited hitherto by restricted opportunities to make measurements and limitations in the capabilities of the available instrumentation. Some significant issues have come to light only after construction when they have been manifested as poorer than expected wind turbine availability or power performance.

New tools and techniques, such as lidar, are available that allow the adoption of a more unified approach to data acquisition and analysis suitable for full lifecycle project optimization.

This presentation will review the new frontiers in the ever-changing technical context in which offshore wind projects are delivered, as new measurement opportunities and the analyses that accompany the data acquired as a result bring our assessments closer to the accurate representation of the reality of offshore wind.


Data requirements for pre-construction wind assessments have typically reflected limitations in measurement opportunity; while post-construction a deeper understanding of the wind conditions and the response of wind power assets is necessary for their optimisation.

New technology is overcoming these limitations and it is now possible to observe adverse conditions pre-construction rather than wait for their manifestation in sub-optimal performance post-construction.

Wind asset optimisation is therefore supported by the adoption of a single unified set of data requirements throughout the project lifecycle, based on the representation or reality rather than the limitations of our instruments.

Learning objectives
1. Describe the data requirements that arise during different phases in offshore wind project delivery and how these relate to real project objectives and measurement opportunities

2. Differentiate between risks associated with wind conditions offshore, and risks that are artefacts of our limited but improving ability to assess those conditions

3. Make progress towards a unified and well supported view of our assets' compatibility with real wind conditions over the full project lifecycle