Research wind farm

Research Park Wind Energy WiValdi

Model and optimize complex wind turbines

The Wind Energy Research Park (WiValdi) enables full-scale research to develop technologies to increase the acceptance, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of wind turbines. Various institutes and facilities of DLR and the partners from the Wind Energy Research Alliance the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems – Fraunhofer IWES and ForWind – Center for Wind Energy Research operate the research park, which can be used by the broad research community.

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Research focus


The wind energy research park in Krummendeich is not a conventional wind farm. This is already indicated by the meteorological measuring masts, which are up to 150 meters high. In addition, the wind turbines themselves are equipped with extensive sensor technology and some measuring devices are installed in the field. This sensor technology is at the heart of the wind energy research park because it distinguishes it from wind farms for electricity generation. Metrology is a tool to detect all physical quantities.

Sensors are mainly installed on the measuring masts to detect environmental influences. First and foremost, of course, wind speeds, but also temperature, humidity or radiation. Together with the LiDAR devices in the field and on the wind turbines, it is possible to detect turbulent wind fields that will hit the wind turbine rotor in the next few seconds. When the wind field hits the rotor, the individual blades react quite individually – depending on the turbulence. The leaves bend and move. To detect this deflection with millimeter precision, each blade is equipped with a wide variety of sensors. Deflection can be determined mechanically (strain gauges) or optically (fiber optic strain gauges). The exact movement of the blade is recorded by numerous acceleration sensors. A piezoelectric sensor network detects possible damage or overloading of the rotor blade at an early stage. Simply put, this Structural Health Monitoring allows you to recognize at an early stage how the material is doing and when, for example, the perfect time is right to replace individual parts or materials.


The extensive instrumentation provides an excellent infrastructure for testing new technologies: for example, the rotor blades with new structure, shape, material and design developed by the Wind Energy Research Association in the SmartBlades project. New components such as active or passive-adaptive leading and trailing edge wings can also be tested here. The bending-torsion coupling implemented in the SmartBlades blades can be put through its paces here.

However, not only mechanical components but also new controller algorithms are being tested at the research park in order to individually adapt the wind turbine to the current wind situation. One goal is to achieve more energy output and to protect the loaded structures to achieve a longer service life. This includes not only the control of the individual rotor blades, but also the behavior of the wind turbines in the network: Especially in the configuration in wake, i.e. when the second wind turbine is in the “slipstream” of the first, and is thus exposed to complex turbulence and reduced wind speed. Another goal is to investigate measures to reduce disturbance phenomena, such as noise. For this purpose, in addition to hardware-technical modifications, software-technical operation management processes can also be investigated.

Manufacturers, suppliers and research institutions have the unique opportunity to test new technological developments here. The wind energy research park thus becomes a real laboratory, i.e. laboratory-like conditions are available here on a real scale.


The research infrastructure can be used to validate a wide variety of models. Simulations have become an indispensable part of science today, but these simulation models must first be verified and validated on real cases.

In the WindMuse project, DLR and FVWE partners have developed a multidisciplinary simulation environment using multibody simulation to predict aerodynamic, aeroelastic and structural mechanical behavior of a wind turbine on a virtual model. The results of such a simulation can be validated here on a real scale. This can improve the simulation tools and reveal possible weaknesses. This will allow even more accurate forecasts to be made in the future without the need for costly experiments.

Various turbulent wind models from atmospheric research can be validated with instrumentation from the meteorological measurement towers. These wind models are, for example, the aerodynamic basis for the development of new rotor blades. Validation of the models is very important here in order to develop rotor blades for realistic load cases.

Control and operating concepts, i.e. the behavior of the turbine under different wind and operating conditions, can also be simulated and optimized in simulation models. Validation of such models is not feasible in conventional wind farms. This is due on the one hand to commercial boundary conditions, but also to the necessary measurement equipment for reliable test execution. However, extreme and unusual operating modes can be safely and extensively tested at the Wind Energy Research Park in Krummendeich to validate models and ensure robust application.

Research Park Wind Energy WiValdi

German Aerospace Center

Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems