The wind turbine industry is developing so rapidly worldwide that the exact turbine model cannot be decided until after the consenting process.
The turbine models that are being considered for the Humber Gateway will begin generating electricity at wind speeds of 3 metres per second rising to the nominal power at 12-14 meters per second. The turbines will be designed to shut down at wind speeds greater than 25 metres per second.
Dimensions of the different turbines according to different layout options
Parameter against size of turbine
|Indicative number of turbines||83||60||42|
|Rotor diameter (m)||107||125||150|
|Minimum hub height at MHWS* (m)||76||85||97|
|Approximate in-row turbine spacing (m)||540||626||822|
|Tower base diameter (m)||4-5||5||5-6|
|Approximate inter-row turbine spacing (m)||919||1015||1419|
|Minimum air draft at MHWS* (m)||22||22||22|
Designing Humber Gateway Offshore Wind farm
The optimum turbine layout for Humber Gateway will be based on:
- the Crown Estate boundary;
- mitigation map (incorporating all known statutory and stakeholder considerations);
- optimum energy yield;
- minimum array losses;
- geology and seabed obstructions;
- water depth;
- operation, maintenance and construction considerations;
- electrical requirements (e.g. inter array cables).
Predicted wind speed
An accurate assessment of wind speed is crucial, as it will determine the energy produced from Humber Gateway and hence the project's viability and what level of environmental benefits it will bring.
The wind speed at the site has been monitored prior to 2009 using equipment on the existing Humber Light Float, managed by ABP Humber. This was correlated with wind data at E.ON's Out Newton onshore wind farm and other meteorological stations (e.g. Skegness North). The data collected indicates a good annual mean wind speed of 8.9 metres per second at 80m hub height. In August 2009 we installed a more sophisticated anemometry mast at the site which includes wind, wave and current measuring instrumentation. This will enable us to further refine our understanding of the wind speed, and other important data such as turbulence and extreme gusts which will help us more accurately predict the energy yield from the wind farm and also feed into the selection and design of wind turbines and foundations.
The diagram above shows the direction of the wind at the site. The prevailing wind direction at the site is SSW through WNW and this has been taken into account in the spacing and layout of the turbines in order to maximise energy capture. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling techniques enable us to predict the wind farm's performance through the range of wind speeds and directions likely to be encountered at site.