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The measuring mast is 200 m tall and collects detailed data regarding wind conditions in forested low mountain ranges.
© Fraunhofer IWES
200 m measuring mast inaugurated in Northern Hesse

Measuring wind in forests

The Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology IWES inaugurated a 200 m high measuring mast that is capable of determining wind potential more accurately. The mast will provide important information for the construction of large-scale wind farms in or near forests. It is located at the top of a hill in a forest near Kassel and will enable researchers to undertake more detailed research into wind conditions on undulating terrain. This information will help to avoid inaccurate yield calculations and further improve wind farm planning.

The measuring mast will be used to identify suitable locations for wind farms. The project is called “Inland exploitation of wind energy – development of new potential in forests in low mountain ranges” and will provide the necessary measuring infrastructure and fundamental data. The Fraunhofer IWES is undertaking research into the wind characteristics of forest regions and the use of new laser telemetry techniques. LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) uses laser beams to measure various attributes such as wind profile, wind shear, maximum wind speed and turbulence, allowing the researchers to determine the kinds of forces that wind turbines in forests will be subject to. The Fraunhofer team aims to develop new methods for calculating inland wind conditions using LiDAR measuring techniques. These techniques could then be used throughout Germany and beyond, allowing “pre-emptive” alterations to be made to the turbine control systems of future wind farms. For example, a wind turbine’s rotor can be optimally oriented in relation to the wind direction and the tilt angle of the rotor blades can be adjusted in accordance with the wind conditions.

Know which way the wind blows

The mast is situated at Rödeser Berg, about 30 km outside the city of Kassel and at 200 m, it is the second tallest structure in Northern Hesse. Rödeser Berg is around 380 m above sea level and the wind there comes predominantly from the south-west.

In addition to this installation, measurements will be taken at various other forest locations in low mountain ranges over several months, starting in July. “For these projects we’ll be using LiDAR technology together with stand-alone power supply systems, as well as large measuring masts,” says Tobias Klaas, Project Manager at Fraunhofer IWES. This work will form the basis for future commercial research using LiDAR technology.
The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety funded the project to the tune of around 1.5 million euros until the end of 2011.

From inland to the high sea

The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Conducting research in the middle of the ocean” (17/2011) contains information about the remote-controlled research platforms FINO 1-3 in the North and Baltic Seas.



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