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Scheduling power performance testing at the National Small Wind Turbine Centre

Whale, J. and Malla, A. (2011) Scheduling power performance testing at the National Small Wind Turbine Centre. In: Solar2011 49th AuSES Annual Conference, 30 November - 2 December, Sydney, Australia



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. The National Small Wind Turbine Centre (NSWTC) was established in August 2008 to test and label turbines in the range 1 kW – 5 kW, in order to help the development of the SWT industry in Australia and abroad. In February 2010, an NSWTC turbine test site was established at Henderson, Western Australia. The aim of this study was to model the wind resource at the NSWTC test site to give insight into the scope and scheduling of power performance testing at the site. National and international SWT performance standards were reviewed in order to assess the completion requirements for testing. Wind modelling was carried out using the wind atlas model, WAsP, in order to predict the long-term wind resource at the site. The results of the modelling were used to develop spreadsheets to guide the NSWTC in planning their program of testing. This work proved valuable in developing a tool that can provide recommendations on turbine selection and suitable months for testing. The predictions from the tool are compared with the experience of testing the SOMA 1000 wind turbine, the first turbine to be tested at the site. The results show that although a power performance curve can be completed to standard in a few months, testing of 1-2 years is advisable to reduce uncertainty with power values at high wind speeds.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
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