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Performance Testing of a small Wind Turbine

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Locally manufactured small wind turbines are rarely, if ever, tested for performance standards or accuracy. Scoraig Wind Electric, along with Jon Sumanik-Leary and Hugh Piggott have published findings regarding the use of the international standards for power performance testing in order to obtain the most reliable and accurate measurements of wind power turbines.

This research was important for the development of green energy; wind turbines can be a reliable solution for rural electricity.

The research conducted is meant to measure the performance of multiple machines over a one-year period. This information presented, is based on the monitoring of the first machine, which was monitored from April 26th to September 4th, 2012. The wind turbine research was funded by the UK Research Council’s Energy Programme and conducted at the E-Futures Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Sheffield, UK.

The turbine was situated on the far Western tip of the Scoraig peninsula. No trees were nearby, to ensure the turbine was completely exposed to the wind coming from the Atlantic Ocean.

During the four-month testing, a wind machine that was 1.8 meters in diameter was monitored for four months on Scoriag, a Scottish peninsula. A power curve was produced from the testing and monitoring. The wind turbine was found to have a peak power performance of 267W at 13.5m/s, with the rated annual energy production at 495kWh.

The machine was designed based on Hugh Piggot’s A Wind Turbine Recipe Book. The only change to the design was two magnets on the rotor discs, instead of the one recommended in Piggot’s book. The change in design was due to a manufacturing error, which made the stator cast too thick, which in turn made the flux density in the stator lower. This resulted in the cut-in speed of the machine being too high. So, to fix this issue, a second rotor disc was placed on the opposite side of the sator. This is rare for smaller turbines and is most commonly seen in larger machines.

During the monitoring, every variable of the turbine was measured at a frequency of 1Hz and averaged of a 10-minute period, which was transmitted via the GSM network and stored on the Logic Energy server.  The anemometer was located two rotor diameters from the turbine tower. The layout of the sensing equipment were within waterproof housing and signals were transmitted to the data logger from the turbine tower and the meteorological mast using a 12-core armoured telecom cable.

The power curve was produced from the measured dataset, showing a peak power of 267W at 13.5m/s.

Jon Sumanik-Leary, Hugh Piggott, Rob Howell, Aidan While AE-Futures DTC, University of Sheffield, Mappin St., Sheffield, S1 3JD, United Kingdom Scoraig Wind Electric, Dundonnell, Ross Shire, IV23 2RE, Scotland

Proceedings of 8th PhD Seminar on Wind Energy in Europe September 12-14, 2012, ETH

Zurich, Switzerland

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