National Physical Laboratory

Will the wind blow?

NPL is currently working on improving the accuracy of measuring the power created by wind turbines in order to support the UK Government's commitment to renewable energy sources.

Wind turbines

Between now and 2020, the UK government aims to put in place 7,000 wind turbines, with an estimated combined output of over 33 gigawatts - this is expected to generate enough power to meet the domestic electricity needs of the entire country.

However, in order to ensure that there is no shortfall - we must have confidence in the accuracy of power measurements these claims are based on. Current uncertainties in the power measurements of wind turbines are around 1%, so in terms of the 2020 target that gives an error margin of about 0.3 gigawatts. To put that in context, that's roughly equivalent to the energy needs of all the homes in Sheffield.

The work NPL scientists are currently doing will help reduce this error margin by a factor of ten, giving a better understanding of our real wind power capacity, and enabling it to be combined more efficiently with the rest of the National Grid.

For further information, contact Paul Wright

Find out more about NPL's research on Time, Quantum, & Electromagnetics

Do you have a measurement challenge that you'd like NPL's help with? If so, why not apply for NPL's Technology Innovation Fund ?

Last Updated: 1 May 2012
Created: 7 Oct 2010


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