skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Coastal Ohio Wind Project

The Coastal Ohio Wind Project intends to address problems that impede deployment of wind turbines in the coastal and offshore regions of Northern Ohio. The project evaluates different wind turbine designs and the potential impact of offshore turbines on migratory and resident birds by developing multidisciplinary research, which involves wildlife biology, electrical and mechanical engineering, and geospatial science. Firstly, the project conducts cost and performance studies of two- and three-blade wind turbines using a turbine design suited for the Great Lakes. The numerical studies comprised an analysis and evaluation of the annual energy production of two- and three-blade wind turbines to determine the levelized cost of energy. This task also involved wind tunnel studies of model wind turbines to quantify the wake flow field of upwind and downwind wind turbine-tower arrangements. The experimental work included a study of a scaled model of an offshore wind turbine platform in a water tunnel. The levelized cost of energy work consisted of the development and application of a cost model to predict the cost of energy produced by a wind turbine system placed offshore. The analysis found that a floating two-blade wind turbine presents the most cost effective alternative for the Great Lakes.more » The load effects studies showed that the two-blade wind turbine model experiences less torque under all IEC Standard design load cases considered. Other load effects did not show this trend and depending on the design load cases, the two-bladed wind turbine showed higher or lower load effects. The experimental studies of the wake were conducted using smoke flow visualization and hot wire anemometry. Flow visualization studies showed that in the downwind turbine configuration the wake flow was insensitive to the presence of the blade and was very similar to that of the tower alone. On the other hand, in the upwind turbine configuration, increasing the rotor blade angle of attack reduced the wake size and enhanced the vortices in the flow downstream of the turbine-tower compared with the tower alone case. Mean and rms velocity distributions from hot wire anemometer data confirmed that in a downwind configuration, the wake of the tower dominates the flow, thus the flow fields of a tower alone and tower-turbine combinations are nearly the same. For the upwind configuration, the mean velocity shows a narrowing of the wake compared with the tower alone case. The downwind configuration wake persisted longer than that of an upwind configuration; however, it was not possible to quantify this difference because of the size limitation of the wind tunnel downstream of the test section. The water tunnel studies demonstrated that the scale model studies could be used to adequately produce accurate motions to model the motions of a wind turbine platform subject to large waves. It was found that the important factors that affect the platform is whether the platform is submerged or surface piercing. In the former, the loads on the platform will be relatively reduced whereas in the latter case, the structure pierces the wave free surface and gains stiffness and stability. The other important element that affects the movement of the platform is depth of the sea in which the wind turbine will be installed. Furthermore, the wildlife biology component evaluated migratory patterns by different monitoring systems consisting of marine radar, thermal IR camera and acoustic recorders. The types of radar used in the project are weather surveillance radar and marine radar. The weather surveillance radar (1988 Doppler), also known as Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD), provides a network of weather stations in the US. Data generated from this network were used to understand general migratory patterns, migratory stopover habitats, and other patterns caused by the effects of weather conditions. At a local scale our marine radar was used to complement the datasets from NEXRAD and to collect additional monitoring parameters such as passage rates, flight paths, flight directions, and flight altitudes of nocturnal migrating species. Our work focused on the design and development of custom built marine radar that used t-bar and parabolic dish antennas. The marine radar used in the project was Furuno (XANK250) which was coupled with a XIR3000B digitizing card from Russell Technologies for collection of the radar data. The radar data was processed by open source radR processing software using different computational techniques and methods. Additional data from thermal IR imaging cameras were collected to detect heat emitted from objects and provide information on movements of birds and bats, data which we used for different animal flight behavior analysis. Lastly, the data from the acoustic recorders were used to provide the number of bird calls for assessing patterns and peak passage rates during migration. The development of the geospatial database included collection of different data sources that are used to support offshore wind turbine development. Many different data sets were collected and organized using initial version of web-based repository software tools that can accommodate distribution of rectified pertinent data sets such as the lake depth, lake bottom engineering parameters, extent of ice, navigation pathways, wind speed, important bird habitats, fish efforts and other layers that are relevant for supporting robust offshore wind turbine developments. Additional geospatial products developed during the project included few different prototypes for offshore wind farm suitability which can involve different stakeholders and participants for solving complex planning problems and building consensus. Some of the prototypes include spatial decision support system (SDSS) for collaborative decision making, a web-based Participatory Geographic Information System (PGIS) framework for evaluating importance of different decision alternatives using different evaluation criteria, and an Android application for collection of field data using mobile and tablet devices . In summary, the simulations of two- and three-blade wind turbines suggested that two-bladed machines could produce comparable annual energy as the three-blade wind turbines but have a lighter tower top weight, which leads to lower cost of energy. In addition, the two-blade rotor configuration potentially costs 20% less than a three blade configuration that produces the same power at the same site. The cost model analysis predicted a potential cost savings of approximately 15% for offshore two-blade wind turbines. The foundation design for a wind turbine in Lake Erie is likely to be driven by ice loads based on the currently available ice data and ice mechanics models. Hence, for Lake Eire, the cost savings will be somewhat smaller than the other lakes in the Great Lakes. Considering the size of cranes and vessels currently available in the Great Lakes, the cost optimal wind turbine size should be 3 MW, not larger. The surveillance data from different monitoring systems suggested that bird and bat passage rates per hour were comparable during heavy migrations in both spring and fall seasons while passage rates were significantly correlated to wind directions and wind speeds. The altitude of migration was higher during heavy migrations and higher over water relative to over land. Notable portions of migration on some spring nights occurred parallel the shoreline, often moving perpendicular to southern winds. The birds approaching the Western basin have a higher propensity to cross than birds approaching the Central basin of Lake Erie and as such offshore turbine development might be a better option further east towards Cleveland than in the Western basin. The high stopover density was more strongly associated with migration volume the following night rather than the preceding night. The processed mean scalar wind speeds with temporal resolutions as fine as 10-minute intervals near turbine height showed that August is the month with the weakest winds while December is the month, which typically has the strongest winds. The ice data suggests that shallow western basin of Lake Erie has higher ice cover duration many times exceeding 90 days during some winters.« less
; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Bowling Green State University
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States