Joint Research Agreement on Offshore Wind Power

- Five Parties Sign Contract toward Early Realization of Japanese Offshore Wind Power -


Renewable Energy

R & D / Technology

April 19 2021

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation

Kawasaki, Japan—Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (hereafter “Toshiba ESS”) today announced that the company has signed a joint research agreement on offshore wind power with the Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University (hereafter “Kyushu University”), Hitachi Zosen Corporation (hereafter “Hitachi Zosen”), Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. (hereafter “Tokyo Gas”), and Japan Renewable Energy Corporation (hereafter “JRE”).

This agreement is based on joint research announced in June 2020, which was advanced by three parties, Kyushu University, Hitachi Zosen and Toshiba ESS. Tokyo Gas and JRE have newly joined, putting the joint research team at five parties, who are developing a wake* model to be applied to wind resource analysis for offshore wind power generation, and are conducting research about wind farm design to maximize the annual energy production (AEP) of wind farms.

In this joint research, in order to provide support for an appropriate introduction of bottom-mount and floating-type, large-capacity offshore wind turbines, the five parties will examine offshore air flow characteristics and offshore turbulence characteristics related to seasonality, sea breeze and land breeze, and clarify the impact of the windward side from the aspects of both wind turbine durability and economic efficiency, such as power generation. The parties will finally aim to establish an optimization method for the introduction and operation of an entire wind farm.

Hitachi Zosen, Tokyo Gas and JRE will measure wind resource and wake behavior at planned offshore wind power construction sites and wind power generation sites in Japan, and will verify through experiments using Kyushu University’s boundary layer wind tunnel. Toshiba ESS, as the secretary company of this joint research, will not only support the experiments above but also accelerate data analysis, such as meteorological data, method development concerning wind turbines, wake model and power generation capacity, and methods to optimize wind turbine layout design.

Since starting its wind power business in 2010, Toshiba ESS has been working on the development of technology for highly accurate wind resource evaluation and diagnosis in complex terrain using large-scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and wind resource analysis. Joint research by Toshiba ESS, Kyushu University and Hitachi Zosen, which has been ongoing since April 2018, has succeeded in developing a “porous disk wake model for CFD” that is easy for wind power generation companies to use, and the effectiveness of this wake model has been demonstrated. In addition to being able to evaluate the wake with less computational load than the conventional method, this model is also characterized by being able to express the effect of mutual interference on the rear wind turbine group by the wake that was generated by the upstream wind turbine.

Hideki Saito, Senior Vice President of the Grid Aggregation Div. at Toshiba ESS, said that “by actively utilizing our advanced wind resource analysis technology for complex terrain cultivated through domestic onshore wind power business in Japan and the results of this joint research, which will deeply contribute to the improvement of the business feasibility of offshore wind power, Toshiba ESS will contribute to the development of the domestic offshore wind power market and the realization of carbon neutral society.”

*A wind speed defect area formed on the downstream-side of a wind turbine blade as it rotates.

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