Researchers at MIT in the USA have developed a model that makes it possible to optimize how wind turbines use the wind in a better way.
By controlling how the wind turbines move with the new algorithm developed by the researchers, it is possible to increase efficiency by an average of 1.2 percent without having to invest in any new equipment.
1.2 percent may sound like a very marginal improvement, but with so much wind power available today, it is equivalent to building 3,600 new wind turbines in the world. Enough to supply three million homes with electricity.
The new thing about the researchers' model is that it handles the wind turbines in power plant farms as parts of a whole. Today's control systems normally try to maximize each wind turbine's output. But if the power plants are close together, it can mean that several other wind turbines produce less electricity as a single power plant disturbs the wind around them.
The researchers' model looks at the wind flow through the entire wind farm and maximizes production for the entire farm, even if it means that individual power plants then produce less than their possible maximum at the time.