High-altitude wind turbines are about twice as high as previous wind turbines – the energy yields are said to be twice as high as with conventional wind turbines. In order to question the feasibility of such wind turbines, which are around 360 meters high, the engineering company group Gicon Group erected a 300-meter-high wind measuring mast, which was put into operation on Thursday at the Klettwitz hilltop in Lusatia. The project costs a total of 2.8 million euros.
Because of the adjacent wind farm, the location is ideal for the world’s tallest mast of its kind, explains Gicon. It consists of 99 mast elements, weighs almost 70 tons and is equipped with 46 measuring instruments. Among other things, wind speed, air pressure, temperature and amount of precipitation are to be recorded continuously over a period of twelve months.
Batcorder for bats
In order to record the behavior of bats, so-called batcorders were attached along the mast, which convert the ultrasonic sounds of the animals into audible sounds. There are also two LiDAR systems on the ground, which are calibrated with the met mast. With such systems, high-altitude wind measurements could be carried out much more easily in the future, measurement times with wind measurement masts would be significantly reduced or completely superfluous.
Martin Chaumet, Managing Director of the client Beventum, sees the mast as his company’s first step towards developing the high-altitude wind. Prototypes for high-altitude wind turbines should follow as soon as possible. “As the first measurements indicate, we will be able to generate electricity from high-altitude wind turbines anywhere in the future at acceptable prices,” Chaumet said on Thursday.
Second floor in existing wind farm
For Gicon founder Jochen Großmann, the met mast lays the foundation for the development of high-altitude wind turbines that “with hub heights of 300 m can use the significantly better wind conditions at these heights”. Such high-altitude wind turbines could add a second floor to existing wind farms in the next few years, so that no new areas would have to be developed. Combined with solar and storage systems, they could be expanded into green power plants. In addition, former lignite areas could be upgraded and the basis for the most modern industrial settlements could be created, which are completely supplied with green electricity.
According to the market master data register of the Federal Network Agency, previous wind turbines have an average hub height of a good 100 m, the maximum height is 166 m, for example in the Bodensee wind farm in Lower Saxony. In addition, there is a rotor diameter of 136 m.
Beventum GmbH is a subsidiary of the Federal Agency for Breakthrough Innovation and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It wants to tap the potential of high-altitude wind and thus solve the location problem for wind turbines in Germany, among other things. The Renewable Energy Sources Act provides for a total of 71 GW of onshore wind energy to be created nationwide by 2030. According to the German Wind Energy Association, wind turbines with a total output of 2.4 GW were installed on land in 2022, making the total output 58 GW.