The Eolos Wind Research Field Station is located at UMore Park, a 5,000-acre University-owned property in Dakota County (approximately 20 miles southeast of the Twin Cities campus). Eighty acres on the eastern portion of UMore Park have been dedicated to the research station, which includes a 2.5 MW Clipper Liberty wind turbine and a 130m (426 ft) tall meteorological tower. This site hosts not only active consortium research, but also education and training of next generation wind industry personnel. The major components of the research field station are described in the following sections.
The turbine’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) is a key component of the Eolos field station. The rich data set created by this system offers operational and performance data from the research turbine and is carefully time-synchronized with foundation, met tower and blade sensor data. Data is collected by University servers, backed-up and made available to consortium members to support ongoing research.
The research-grade meteorological tower installed at the Eolos field site spans the entire swept area of the turbine blades. Instruments are installed on boom arms at 10 different heights on the tower. Of these 10 arms, four are instrumented with sonic anemometers that measure wind speed and turbulence at a very rapid sampling rate. The other six arms are instrumented with temperature, barometric pressure and humidity sensors as well as cup and vane anemometers.
Each of the turbine's three blades is instrumented with 10 fiber-optic strain gauges and 10 fiber optic temperature gauges to measure the strain in the blade material. Three tri-axial DC-accelerometers are also mounted inside each of the blades. Coordinated measurements from the strain gauges and the accelerometers allow researchers to determine the dynamic strain conditions on each of the blades and the resulting deflections.
A series of 20 strain gauges, three accelerometers and 24 settlement plates are installed in the turbine foundation.The strain gauges measure the tower’s response to different wind loads, while the accelerometers measure the foundation’s response to tower oscillations. The settlement plates provide a way to measure settlement of the foundation over time.
The WindCube LIDAR device can be deployed anywhere at the field site to measure the wind speed and direction at 10 elevations up to 200 meters.