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What is a powercurve?

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Michael Tegtmeier
on 1/23/18, 4:08 PM 313 views

What is a powercurve and what can you measure with it?


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Michael Tegtmeier
On 1/31/18, 3:42 PM

A power curve describes the rated output power of a turbine at a given windspeed.

The more power a wind turbine is generating at a certain wind speed, the better is the performance of a wind turbine. 

Unfortunately there are many different factors that can affect the data points from which the power curve is generated. In general one can assume, that the measured power has a comparably low error. The windspeed, on the other hand, is affected by many errors. One first has to ask the question where the windspeed is measured. Is it measured on a met mast, or by an anemometer on top of the turbine's nacelle? The wind on top of the nacelle for instance is affected by the rotor and thus shows more turbulences and a lower speed since some energy has been extracted by the wind turbine.


Furthermore the output power of the turbine at a given windspeed is dependent on the energy the wind contains. I.e. if you compare cold air with warm air at the same windspeed, the turbine will be able to extract more energy out of the wind at lower temperature than at higher ones.


If one wants to know if a certain improvement of ones wind turbine has some effect on the performance of the wind turbine, one could compare the power curve before and after the improvement. Unfortunately, weather conditions vary throughout days, months, and even from year to year. Thus a power curve comparison is not very precise and can only give a first hint.


 



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Asked: 1/23/18, 4:08 PM
Seen: 313 times
Last updated: 1/31/18, 3:42 PM