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Scheduling and conducting power performance testing of a small wind turbine

Whale, J., McHenry, M.P. and Malla, A. (2013) Scheduling and conducting power performance testing of a small wind turbine. Renewable Energy, 55 . pp. 55-61.

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The global growth in small wind turbine (SWT) markets and in the number of SWT manufacturers has brought about an urgent need for more rigorous testing of SWTs in order to ensure safety, reliability and performance. This work presents modelling of the wind resource at the Australian National Small Wind Turbine Centre (NSWTC) test site to give insight into the scope and scheduling of power performance tests, and assess testing completion requirements for national and international SWT performance standards. Wind modelling of the long-term wind resource at the site was used to guide the NSWTC testing program and develop a tool to provide recommendations regarding suitable months for testing particular turbines. The predictions from the tool are compared to the results of testing a SOMA 1000 small wind turbine. The results indicate that current testing standards need to specify more than 10 min worth of data in each bin in order to reduce uncertainty errors in power curves, particularly at higher wind speeds and during furling and unfurling of the turbine. Furthermore, this work supports observations that there are often notable discrepancies between published SWT manufacturer power curves and test results at high wind speeds.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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