Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2022-34
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2022-34
 
22 Jun 2022
22 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Current status and grand challenges for small wind turbine technology

Alessandro Bianchini1,17, Galih Bangga2,17, Ian Baring-Gould3, Alessandro Croce4,17, José Ignacio Cruz5, Rick Damiani6, Gareth Erfort7,17, Carlos Simao Ferreira8,17, David Infield9, Christian Navid Nayeri10,17, George Pechlivanoglou11, Mark Runacres12,17, Gerard Schepers13,14, Brent Summerville3, David Wood15, and Alice Orrell16 Alessandro Bianchini et al.
  • 1Department of Industrial Engineering, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, 50139, Italy
  • 2Institute of Aerodynamics und Gas Dynamics, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 70569, Germany
  • 3National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, Colorado, 80401, USA
  • 4Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Aerospaziali, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, 20156, Italy
  • 5Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT), Madrid, 28040, Spain
  • 6RRD Engineering, LLC, Arvada, CO 80007, USA
  • 7Department of Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, 7602, South Africa
  • 8Delft University of Technology, Wind Energy, 2629HS, Delft, The Netherlands
  • 9University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XW, Scotland
  • 10Hermann-Föttinger-Institut, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, 10623, Germany
  • 11Eunice Energy Group, Athens, 15125, Greece
  • 12Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, 1050, Belgium
  • 13TNO Energy Transition, Petten, 1755 LE, the Netherlands
  • 14Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, 9747 AS, the Netherlands
  • 15Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary, T2N 1N4, Canada
  • 16Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352 USA
  • 17Small Wind Turbine Technical Committee, European Academy of Wind Energy (EAWE)

Abstract. While modern wind turbines have become by far the largest rotating machines on Earth with further upscaling planned for the future, a renewed interest in small wind turbines is fostering energy transition and smart grid development. Small machines have traditionally not received the same level of aerodynamic refinement of their larger counterparts, resulting in lower efficiency, lower capacity factors, and therefore a higher cost of energy. In an effort to reduce this gap, research programmes are developing worldwide. With this background, the scope of the present study is twofold. In the first part of this paper, an overview of the current status of the technology is presented in terms of technical maturity, diffusion, and cost. The second part of the study proposes five grand challenges that are thought to be key to fostering the development of small wind turbine technology in the near future, i.e.: (1) improve energy conversion of modern SWTs through better design and control, especially in the case of turbulent wind; (2) better predict long-term turbine performance with limited resource measurements and prove reliability; (3) improve the economic viability of small wind energy; (4) facilitate the contribution of SWTs to the energy demand and electrical system integration; (5) foster engagement, social acceptance, and deployment for global distributed wind markets. To tackle these challenges, a series of unknowns and gaps are first identified and discussed. Based on them, improvement areas are suggested within which ten key enabling actions are finally proposed.

Alessandro Bianchini et al.

Status: open (until 03 Aug 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Alessandro Bianchini et al.

Alessandro Bianchini et al.

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Short summary
The scope of the present study is twofold. First, an overview of the status of small wind turbine technology is presented in terms of technical maturity, diffusion, and cost. Secondly, five grand challenges that are thought to be key to fostering the development of the technology are proposed. To tackle these challenges, a series of unknowns and gaps are first identified and discussed. Based on them, improvement areas are suggested within which ten key enabling actions are finally proposed.