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R&D in Renewables

In 2015 Innovation activities in Renewable have focused primarily on improving the efficiency of our operating assets and the integration of renewable energies and develop new designs or processes for future or ongoing projects associated with offshore wind power.

Wind farms

Efficiency improvement in Wind Farms is aimed at reducing operating and maintenance costs and improving production.

The field of energy resources continues with the development of an internal model for the design of wind farms based on fluid dynamics and the use of supercomputers. The works are focused on the parameterization of the orographic conditions and the implementation of a model forest, which allow a further progress regarding current business models.

It is analysing the best use of the oils used in the gearbox of wind turbines in order to extend its useful life and optimize the maintenance operations.

Among the available tools to manage the exploitation of the wind farms, it is working on the continuous optimization of the production prediction to reduce the deviations from the actual production (Meteoflow). Also it is enhancing the monitoring of the main equipment of the turbines and their yields by an alerts interface and Indicators in order to diagnose anomalies and / or prevent future failures (Diagnosis Matrix). Finally, some tools have been implemented to optimize the scheduling maintenance work and the use of mobile devices for the completion of work orders.

Integration of renewable energies

Among the projects to promote the integration of renewable energy highlights Smartwind project, which aim is the implementation of models and simulations for storage use associated to a wind farm in order to provide auxiliary services such as reducing production deviations offered. Newplayol project focuses on photovoltaic storage.

Offshore wind power

Innovation in offshore wind projects is essential to reduce costs and to limit risks in ongoing and future projects. In Wikinger Wind Farm it has been realized a validation campaign of the design of the jacket foundation pile (responsible for setting the foundations to the ground) because of the special characteristics of the bottom of the sea with significant improvements achieved. Also it is important to mention the innovative design of the offshore substation for that park on their consistent in its execution in two pieces with limitations of weight and size to be transported.

Some of the most significant initiatives are:

  • MARINEL project, where alternatives have been analysed for these types of difficulties, such as self-installable substations.
  • Replacing offshore meteorological towers which require costly foundations for their installation by floating stations with an alternative measuring system known as LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging).
  • Leanwind project, which main objective is to reduce costs over the park´s life and the supply chain by the principles of "lean" application and the development of innovative solutions and tools.
  • The European Project (Best Paths), analyses the HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) multiterminal networks and from different suppliers to see interactions with electric equipment of wind turbines in a scenario in which the offshore wind will be connected to the network.

Finally highlight initiatives specifically orientated to sustainability, such as BRIO project, which aim is to analyse the wind farm after its useful life and the valuation of the high value-added components of the wind turbine blades.

Improving efficiency of operating assets and integrating renewable energies, mains keys to R&D in onshore wind power.

Developing new designs and processes for future and ongoing projects, key to R & D in offshore wind power.

Wikinger substation design in 3D.

Wind farm modeling supercomputer.

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West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm construction and inauguration
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