TULIP WIND, a Dutch IMBY approach to renewable energy

Publieke samenvatting

Wind turbines as a renewable energy source have always been part of public debate. While relatively cheap, NIMBY (not in my backyard) effects are on the lure. Subsequently risk contours of current horizontal turbine designs (HAWT) make a lot of areas unsuitable for wind turbines. Within this consortium a new kind of turbine is developed, based on a vertical design philosophy (VAWT). It will become a midsize turbine, which creates a number of benefits. By innovative design and limitation of rotating parts, both CapEx and OpEx are low. The design offers less noise, shade and visibility constraints due to height. Risk contours are strongly reduced, creating new areas for placement. The technology is not seen as a competitor of HAWTs, but rather as an add-on.

The objective is the development of a prototype 300 kW Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT). The prototype(s) will be tested on a TRL6 and TRL7 level. Scientific validation will provide evidence for efficiency, power ratio’s, array effects and noise reduction. The ultimate goal is to create a wind turbine, which is efficient and will be approved by local community. Instead of a “not in my backyard” technology, it should become an “in my backyard” technology. This might become reality, as the technology would be interesting for industrial companies as a behind the meter solution. Industrial areas would then have more options for renewable energy sources, compared to nowadays opportunities.
To improve social acceptance, a lot of effort has been put in the design of the VAWT. The consortium aims to develop a ‘national icon’. And what are we recognized for abroad? For tulips and mills, so in its design we used the characteristics of a tulip. Relevant stakeholders and potential end-users reacted positively on this design.

Korte omschrijving
The work is divided in 9 WPs. Already preparatory research (both scientific and industrial) has been performed to start at TRL-5 levels on the basic elements of the prototype. Activities will focus on the aerodynamic design, drive train design and structural design. This will provide input for the prototype development, computational design and testing (both wind tunnel testing and open field testing). Performance will be analyzed in several configurations, which will lead to an improved prototype. Most innovative parts focus on the aero-elastic design, generator design and struts and blade design.

The result is a midsized 300kW VAWT that opens up for new economic opportunities for exploitation (both before and behind the meter). As a before the meter1 solution it offers a basic price level of €55-84/MWh depending on the annual average wind speed (5.5-6.9m/s). The average price level will be €70/MWh. As a behind the meter solution, payback times are around 5 years with wind speeds of 5.5m/s and a SDE+ basic price of €70/MWh. As a behind the meter solution it is expected that it will become an attractive alternative for PV cells, which are more expensive and cannot always cover for the complete energy bill, especially in industry. It will generate new scientific data on VAWTs, on their aeroelastic effects, their array effects and noise.
Already support letters are collected from interested potential users. Furthermore, the consortium has an extensive network in the infrastructure sector, were the VAWT will be a serious candidate for renewable energy in DBFM (design, build, finance, maintenance) tenders. BdBGreenpower is about to start a feasibility study for a VAWT energy solution for the SAA ONE project (highway Almere Schiphol).