Wind energy and CFD: an interview with Everoze
Zenotech is proud to bring our expertise in CFD to help the renewables sector optimise the power of clean, green energy. As part of this, our team has been collaborating with Everoze, an innovative leader in the sector. This employee-owned consultancy bridges the gap between the technical and the commercial in the field of renewables, helping clients to accelerate the transition to a decarbonised energy system.
Recently we caught up with Alexander Klein, a wind energy advisor for Everoze. Read on to hear more about his background, their exciting work, the future of renewables and our joint projects.
Alex has been working at Everoze since 2017, specialising in wind energy and developing expertise for energy assessments and technical due diligence. His background is in renewables with a degree in Environmental Engineering in Paris, and then a Masters in Renewable Energy in Madrid. From university, Alex kicked off his career at a renewable asset management boutique in Spain handling a 900MW wind portfolio. After a year there, he spotted a new post at Everoze and was keen to join such a global, cutting-edge company located back in Paris. Alex said:
“It was exciting to join such a young, innovative company and growing team, which was looking at the global renewables market. I was the fourth member of the Paris office back in 2017.”
Everoze is involved in technical due diligence in renewable assets for solar, wind and storage, creating independent assessments of renewable schemes for both those running the projects and potential investors.
In his current role, Alex conducts energy surveys to assess the production of energy from wind farms and wind assets. Difficult terrains, such as mountainous areas, can pose issues for predicting the wind resource and resultant power. Alex told us:
“When we are conducting surveys on projects where the geography of the site is complex, often the industry-standard modelling we have in-house is not fit-for-purpose. For instance, we worked on a Korean wind farm on a difficult terrain, where we called on Zenotech to help with the CFD modelling to fill in the gaps in our information. This process can then be repeated on new wind farms, including a current project closer to home in Corsica, which is an extremely complex case. Essentially, Zenotech’s tools are helping us to understand what the wind looks like.”
With the EU’s binding renewables target for 2030 of at least 32% of final energy consumption, it may be that wind farm sites will become more and more complex as the industry looks for new locations to fill the demand. CFD technology comes into its own here to predict the wind flow in these difficult to measure areas – forestry, complicated topography, mountain ranges – offering the knowledge which the existing software in the industry does not provide. Zenotech’s CFD solver proves to be extremely accurate in blind tests; in one test the CFD tool predicted the results with an independent validation of 2% compared with in-service SCADA data.
One very specific area of interest is the industry-wide issue of the blockage effect from wind turbines. This describes the fact that as wind approaches an obstacle (the blockage) the flow slows down and diverts around it. However, turbine interaction models, or wake models, which are used to estimate the future energy of a turbine do not typically take the blockage effect into account. Zenotech’s technology is invaluable here to investigate wake effects in relation to power production.
In the aftermath of Covid-19, there are calls for society to build back better through a green recovery. Certainly, it seems that the renewables sector is coming out of the crisis in a healthy state. Alex told us:
“During the pandemic, Everoze has been continuing to work with clients on scoping their renewable projects, and as the lockdown eases, we have seen an increase in demand for our services. It seems like the investment for renewables is thriving in Europe at this time.”
If you’re interested in harnessing the power of CFD to optimise your wind energy project or have another project in mind, do get in touch.