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Kick-off for Research project "REAlMe"

Research project „Traceable acquisition of meteorological data“ of University of Bremen to set new standards and achieve more efficiency in the wind industry


More reliable and accurate planning and operation of wind turbines

Bremen, Berlin, 16 January 2013. The acquisition of measurement data can be influenced by incidental occurrences – even a bird sitting on a wind sensor (anemometer) on top of a met mast negatively affects the measurement results. Wind sensors are sensitive measurement instruments installed by wind farm operators to acquire meteorological data in order to calculate the energy yield of wind turbines and wind farms. Various factors influence the acquisition and transmission of measurement data. Thus scientists of the University of Bremen and their research partners initiated the research project “Traceable acquisition of meteorological data” in order to improve reliability and accuracy of measured values.

Regardless of storm, snow and ice, faulty installations or loosening tension cables of the met mast, the technology has to work properly and accurate. Since in the past measurement systems have been affected by various incidents, the research project should find solutions for the challenges.

The Bremen Institute for Metrology, Automation and Quality Science (BIMAQ) of the University of Bremen is initiator and coordinator of the 1.74 Mio EUR project „Traceable acquisition of meteorological data“ (RealMe). The Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) promotes the three-year project with approx. 1.1 Mio EUR. Today, 16 January 2013, the project partners BIMAQ, Deutsche WindGuard Wind Tunnel Services GmbH (Varel), Ammonit Measurement GmbH (Berlin) and Adolf Thies GmbH & Co. KG (Göttingen) come together for a kick-off meeting in Berlin.

„Discrepancies of only 3% in the measured values can result in seven-digit losses“

Reports for site assessment are based on meteorological data and are the basis for the financial planning of wind farm projects. Hence, the calculated wind energy potential is the decisive criteria for site assessment.

In order to design and operate a wind farm properly, prior to the setup a comprehensive and accurate measurement of wind speed, wind direction, air pressure, relative humidity and air temperature over a period of at least 12 months is essential. The necessary sensors are installed on up to 200m high met masts, which are spread around the world in all climate zones far from any street or power supply in open landscape.

Regardless of the location, the measurement systems are usually difficult to access and exposed to enormous loads. Although environmental conditions influence sensor reliability and data quality, measurement data still has to be acquired and transmitted with highest accuracy to calculate the energy yield as precisely as possible. “Even a little discrepancy of only 3 per cent in measured values for the wind direction can result in seven-digit economic losses considering an eight-digit investment for a wind farm“, explains BIMAQ scientist and RealMe project coordinator Dipl.-Ing. Michael Sorg. “Investors, project developers, banks and insurances demand for reliable figures to minimize any risk.“

Calibrating instruments, acquiring data and transmitting data

In the upcoming three years the RealMe project partners will work on four topics to find solutions for the existing problems:

Ensuring traceability
The traceability of the measurement data has to be ensured. To do so, measurement data has to be acquired according to international standards (SI units). Measured values have to be precisely traceable and any occurring deviations have to be considered and calculated. Thus calibration of the instruments is an important topic. Additionally complementary sensors and embedded systems should ensure highest accuracy in the future.

Validating plausibility
Measurement data has to be consistent. For example ice-effects on the instruments should not affect the measurement series and result in any faulty values. Plausibility checks and calculations as well as additional controlling instruments recording the environmental conditions such as ice sensors are on the agenda.

Ensuring data transmission
Measurement data has to be transmitted securely and directly without any manipulation. Thus the meas-ured values should be protected directly at the sensor by digital signature via an online connection prior to the data transmission. This should be done by microelectronic circuits integrated in the sensors and by cross-linked digital systems.

Ensuring power supply
Newly designed independent power supply solutions should ensure steady operation of the measure-ment system in order to guarantee long-term availability of measurement data. Besides power-saving switches, the project team considers the approach of Energy Harvesting, which defines the production of electrical energy from locally available sources such as ambient temperature, vibration or air flow.

Unique research infrastructure and ideal testing environment

In order to achieve the goals and set new standards, the project partners will enhance sensors, study and develop embedded systems. To do so, the research wind turbine of the University of Bremen and the wind tunnels of WindGuard, used to calibrate sensors, offer a country-wide unique research infrastructure and an ideal testing environment.

(Sabine Nollmann)

Please note:
Photos can be downloaded via or

Further details:

Dipl.-Ing. Michael Sorg (Head of Energy Systems Department at BIMAQ, Project Coordinator RealMe)
Tel: +49 421 218-646 20, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sabine Nollmann (Science communication, kontexta)
Tel: +49 170 904 11 67, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Ammonit Measurement GmbH
Ammonit offers high quality measurement equipment for wind site assessment, wind farm monitoring and climate research. As a wind energy pioneer, Ammonit has been playing a leading role in the global wind measurement sector since 1989. Ammonit’s user-friendly, reliable data loggers, first class sensors and data communication systems are applied by wind consultants, wind farm operators and research institutes in over 100 countries. With more than 20 years of expertise in the international wind industry, Ammonit offers bespoke measurement systems as well as standard ready to use measurement systems, suitable even for extreme weather conditions and remote areas. Customers benefit from a growing global partner network. Ammonit provides full service packages for a successful measurement campaign, from offer through to construction of the mast & measuring system and operation and maintenance.

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