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Germany

Germany

TECHNICAL MEETING POINT

The bi-annual DEWEK symposium has become a successful and high standard event. The major issues at this conference were noise and meteorological aspects.

For wind energy's technical experts in Germany the bi-annual DEWEK symposium has become the favoured meeting place for discussing technology development. Organised by the German wind institute, DEWI, this year's DEWEK attracted some 280 to Wilhelmshaven from June 22-24. Those present included representatives from research institutes and universities, wind turbine makers, consultancy companies and electric utilities. Participants were mainly German, but a small number of visitors journeyed to Wilhelmshaven from neighbouring Holland and Denmark as well as from Austria and Switzerland.

DEWEK aims to provide a broad platform for discussion of the latest technical advances. Commenting on the range of presentations DEWI's Jens-Peter Molly said: "We have moved away from research which has little use but to line the office drawer and are now well on the path to applied research." He says researchers are now responding to the needs of industry.

Over the last few years noise from wind turbines and acoustic studies have figured prominently in Germany, with extra support being granted to quiet machines in the north of the country. At DEWEK it became clear that the new generation of 500-600 kW turbines are already 3-4 dB quieter than expected. The industry is now calling loudly for the same development for 1 MW turbines. To this end blade development and materials were important themes.

Meteorology issues were another theme of the conference, with one subject taking DEWI by surprise in its popularity. Expecting only limited interest in a session on wind conditions at single turbine sites, DEWI had relegated this to a small room. But the interest in single turbine installations is still considerable in Germany -- despite the admonitions of experts that investment in wind power stations is more economic.

Other meteorological sessions looked at optimisation of the geometry of large wind stations and at studies for earmarking suitable wind regions. A relatively new theme was temporal wind studies. These are for forecasting expected generation from a wind plant several hours ahead of time. Such forecasting is becoming increasingly important for utility load management as more and more wind capacity is linked to the grid -- around 400 MW is now installed in Germany.

"Despite the high standard and success of the event and overwhelming attention from the media, DEWEK will retain its localised German character," says DEWI's Armin Keuper. It does not want to compete with pan-European events.

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