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Research ESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen Ocean Ecosystems

Research into higher efficiency wind turbine at low wind speed

20 May 2020

Prof. Eize Stamhuis, researcher at the Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG), together with industrial partners EmpowerMi and RG-projecten, has received a grant of over EUR 1 million from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. The grant is for the modification and testing of a wind turbine according to Stamhuis's Albatrozz principle. This existing wind turbine located in the Noordoostpolder will have blades with partially oscillating ends. The research and testing on a commercial-scale wind turbine (850 kW) will take approximately two years. With the special oscillating blades, an efficiency increase of 5 to 25% at low wind speeds is envisaged. This unique technological concept can therefore have a major impact on making energy management more sustainable.

Large seabirds such as albatrosses have difficulties coping well with low wind speeds, for example during landing Their wings are too long to flap harder or differently, but to compensate for that they let their wings wiggle around the longitudinal axis: oscillate. Due to these oscillations, the airflow over the wing almost separates from the wing surface but in the same time yielding higher upwards forces. Before the airflow completely separates, the wing 'wiggles' back to its normal position.

The oscillating blades are expected to deliver three benefits: more power per year due to the reduction in cut-in speed, more power/yield at low wind speeds and more valuable kilowatt-hours at low wind speeds. Within the research project, Prof. Stamhuis is responsible for modeling the entire modification of the blades of the turbine, including co-designing the necessary modification and the control system. The results of the research should eventually lead to the marketing of the Albatrozz principle for existing and new-build wind turbines.

Albatrozz project

The Albatrozz project is an initiative of the University of Groningen, RG-projecten BV and EmpowerMi BV. Topwind and Pure Energie are also involved. The UG has the underlying patent. RG-projecten and EmpowerMi have an exclusive license for this patent and the associated (financial) obligations. RG-projecten has contacts and expertise for the technical management of this pilot project. Topwind executes the technical modification of the existing wind turbine, which has been made available by Pure Energie. EmpowerMi BV takes care of the financing and valorization. The total project budget is about EUR 1.5 million.

Wind turbine
Wind turbine
Last modified:20 May 2020 11.23 a.m.

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