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WIND ENERGY: INEGI contributes to making of New European Wind Atlas

04 July 2019

The New European Wind Atlas (NEWA), a detailed mapping of wind resources on the European continent, was debuted this month in Brussels. This project included a series of experimental campaigns, including the campaign that took place in the Serra de Perdigão in Vila Velha do Ródão, developed with INEGI’s collaboration

Serra do Perdigão, which was chosen for its unique topography, hosted this campaign between 2016 and 2018, with an intensive period of measurements between May and June 2017, and became a "living laboratory", where researchers were able to measure the characteristics of the wind.

"The database of parameters and information collected in Perdigão, such as wind directions and speeds, is fundamental for the validation and improvement of simulation models of atmospheric behavior in mountainous terrain and in areas of forest, to the height above the ground level, which is key for their energetic use ", explains José Carlos Matos, responsible for the INEGI’s area of Wind Energy.

INEGI was responsible for ensuring the operation of the infrastructures, "a considerable challenge, since the campaign involved an unprecedented amount of instruments," says José Carlos Matos. "Throughout the study hundreds of instruments were used, including, for example, 50 meteorological towers of 10, 20, 30, 60 and 100 meters in height, 195 sonic anemometers, 14 barometers, 14 radiometers and 51 hygrothermometers, among many other equipments".

The technical coordination between the various participating institutions was also handled by INEGI. In all, there were 18 European and North American institutions, including the portuguese Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (LNEG) and Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA).

This field experience, unprecedented in its dimension worldwide, has already attracted the attention of the international scientific community, having been the protagonist of an articlein the prestigious journal Nature, and an exclusive articlein the bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, also worthy of the cover.

The new European Wind Atlas will be decisive for the use of wind resources, in particular for the definition of the location of future wind farms as well as for the expansion or repowering of wind farms currently in operation, where a difference of only 10% in wind speed can have an impact on the electricity generated up to 30%. It will also have an impact on other areas, such as forest fires, air pollution, or aviation.

The document now presented was developed by a consortium of institutions in eight European countries (Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Latvia, Turkey, Belgium and Portugal), with an overall budget of €13.8 million.


"The greatest wind mapping field experience: lessons and future goals" is the title of the session dedicated to this project, to be held at the Encontro Ciência 2019, on July 9th at the Lisbon Congress Center. Entrance is free, upon registration HERE.

José Carlos Matos, director of the INEGI Wind Energy area, will be one of the speakers. The discussion will also feature Margarida Belo-Pereira (Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere), Rui Durão (Foundation for Science and Technology), Teresa Simões (Laboratory of Energy and Geology), José Laginha Palma and João Correia Lopes (Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto), and also a representative of the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energies.

Additional information about the campaign in the Serra de Perdigão:

European Institutions: Danish Technical University (DTU), University of Oldenburg (UOL), Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt eV (DLR), University of Porto (UP), National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (LNEG), Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) and Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering (INEGI).

North American participating institutions: University of Notre Dame (UND), Cornell University (CU), University of California, Berkeley (UCB), University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder), University of Oklahoma Laboratory (ARL).
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