Wind turbines at dusk

The project, Farming the ENvironment into the Grid: Big data in Offshore wind (FENGBO), is an international collaboration featuring academics from the UK, EU, US and China. The team’s work will use big data to create a new generation of computing tools that will support the design and operation of offshore wind farms. As part of the Joint UK-China Offshore Renewable Energy programme the work will begin with a focus on the development of offshore farms in China.

The FENGBO project, named after the Chinese god of wind, sets out to tackle two issues facing the large scale deployment of offshore wind farms:

  • The bespoke engineering requirements of each site.
  • Ensuring a good return on investment by building the right kind of turbine in the right place,

The team is building a series computational tools to help design wind farms to get the best out of any particular site taking into account the complex interactions between the local atmosphere, the coastal ocean and sedimentary environment, aerodynamics, turbine response and integration with the local electricity grid.

They will be using real operational data from existing wind farms as well as performance data from state-of-the-art wind turbines. They will also have access to Sunway TaihuLight, a supercomputer ranked as the fastest in the world, so they can to carry out their simulations.

The project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council through the Newton fund. It will run for three years until July 2020 and has a budget of £812,415 through EPSRC grant number EP/R007470/1. You can learn more about the other project’s funded under the scheme on EPSRC’s website.

The full list of project partners is: