Power performance testing

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Every wind farm owner should be able to have confidence in the performance of their wind turbine assets. Power Performance Testing (PPT), also known as power curve tests, are an important part of gaining this confidence. 

PPT allows you to compare the actual power curve for a wind turbine to the warranted power curve provided by the wind turbine manufacturer, and to ensure that the manufacturer corrects any sources of under performance.

UKAS accreditation

Power Performance Testing is undertaken in accordance with the IEC61400-12-1 standard.

Wood Group is the only company to be UKAS accredited to undertake power curve tests on large wind turbines to IEC 61400-12-1. This accreditation confirms our significant track record of undertaking successful power curve tests on a wide range of wind turbine models.  It also ensures that our tests are fully recognised by wind turbine manufacturers and the finance community.

PPT phases

Wood Group’s experienced team will ensure that your PPT is planned and carried out to provide an efficient and low uncertainty test of your wind turbine assets.

PPT typically includes the following phases:

Test turbine selection

This involves both a desktop and a field study. The most suitable potential test turbine(s) and reference mast location(s) will be selected to meet the IEC 61400-12-1 standard, and optimise the testing process while considering any additional constraints.

Site calibration

A site calibration may not always be required and is dependent on the complexity of the wind farm site in terms of topography. If a site calibration is required, it will involve the installation of two hub height met masts in the exact location of the proposed turbine (turbine mast) and a reference location (reference mast) a number of rotor diameters away from the turbine location and generally in the prevailing wind direction. This allows the wind speed directly in front of the test wind turbine rotor to be calculated.

Power curve test

Using the results of the site calibration phase, this phase involves the collection of the required wind data, and power output data from an independent Power Measurement Panel (PMP) in the wind turbine. This can then be combined to create a power curve. This power curve can then be compared with the turbine manufacturer’s warrantied power curve and any differences investigated further. After completion of the power curve test, we will issue you with a full power curve test report and the reference mast and PMP is decommissioned.

PPT using Galion Lidar

Please note that the IEC standard covering PPT procedure is currently being revised.  The new revision will allow PPT to be undertaken using Galion Lidar technology on simpler sites, opening up the prospect of significantly easier and lower cost PPT.  Wood Group has been using Galion Lidar to assess wind turbine performance for some time, and would be happy to provide further details on this alternative approach.

PPT services

These services include:

  • Site selection and specification of met masts and sensors
  • Managing and performing all stages of power curve measurement campaigns including, but not limited to:
    • Selecting the turbines to be tested
    • Assessment to determine an appropriate location for reference masts
    • Definition of the free stream sectors
    • Installation of met masts
    • Configuration of met masts, sensors and data acquisition systems
    • Processing, analysis and reporting of acquired data
    • Evaluation of the uncertainty of the measured power curve and measured annual energy production (AEP)
    • Comparisons between warranted and measured AEP
    • Analysis of possible causes for under performance
  • Auditing external projects
    • Checking the IEC compliance of the masts installed by other companies
    • Validating wind data from different sources
    • Auditing analysis and reports done by other consultancies
  • Analysis of SCADA data
    • SgurrTrend analysis of wind turbine SCADA data to detect performance anomalies and defects, a particularly useful service during wind farm commissioning.