The Institute provides technical consultation to entrepreneurs, companies, universities, and governments. The Institute’s team of engineers, technicians and researchers provides a wealth of knowledge. Areas where the Institute has historically been involved include:
- Wind Resource Assessment - The Institute performs wind resource assessments for communities or organizations who want to understand their wind resource. The Institute designs and installs the meteorological mast, monitors the system and creates reports on the data in terms of wind speed and wind distribution as well as icing and power potential.
- Component/Technology Development, Demonstration, Validation & Testing - The Institute can be involved in all aspects of a wind turbine, wind turbine component, or related technology from development and demonstration, through to validation and testing. Turbine components and related technologies, including anemometers, inverters and wind turbine blades have been demonstrated and tested at our site.
- Integration of Renewable Energy - With our Wind R&D Park, the Institute is able to guide the integration of renewable energy and the various uses of storage. Although storage is not necessary for wind power generation, it, along with the wind turbines and photovoltaic panels, can be used for a variety of grid services including frequency support and renewable energy time-shifting, thus resulting in more renewable generation being accepted on a grid.
- Control Strategies - The Institute has developed and installed wind-diesel control systems in multiple locations. This has reduced the diesel consumption by providing some of the required power from wind turbines.
- Wind Turbine Testing Leading to Certification - WEICan performs testing that leads to certification for small and large wind turbines both at our location and offsite. Small and large wind turbines should be certified to ensure that consumers have a third party-verified product. The most common tests are power performance, acoustics, duration, safety and function, and power quality. These tests are completed to standards such as the International Electrotechnical Commission 61400 series of standards. Testing leading to certification can be performed for wind turbines to a variety of certifying bodies including Intertek, Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC), and ClassNK. You can choose to bring your device to our established test site, or we can help identify a suitable site of your own.
As a national research facility and independent wind farm and battery energy storage system operator, with strong industry ties, the Institute is well positioned to lead research in the advancement of wind energy. Research, development and demonstration is carried out at the Institute by our experienced wind technicians, engineers, and researchers.
The Institute views our facilities, including our Wind R&D Park as a laboratory that is available for research. We are open to collaboration with interested parties, including private companies, academia, government, and other research institutes. We currently have two major research streams:
- Grid Integration - As the amount of non-synchronous renewable generators, such as photovoltaic and wind increases on the electrical grid, they can present challenges to its operation. Generation sources such as wind and solar are variable by nature, making their generation uncertain. Moreover, these generators replace conventional power generators, which traditionally provide ancillary services. Therefore, the ability of these renewable generators, as well as batteries, to provide ancillary services is seen as increasingly critical to maintain grid stability. However, grid and system operators in many parts of the world have yet to explore and exploit the full capabilities of these technologies. WEICan is interested in ways to improve grid stability with increased penetration of renewable generators.
- Asset Management/Service Life Estimation -Bankability, reliability, and long-term performance are critical issues for wind turbine investors, owners, operators, and manufacturers. WEICan is interested in how factors such
as complex terrain, high capacity factors, icing and severe weather,
cold climate, and delayed maintenance cycles will impact service life
and/or performance degradation. Data including SCADA, meteorology, maintenance logs and reports, and condition monitoring systems are being used to enhance understanding of turbine component aging and improve wind farm operations and maintenance.