12. About the WindPower project.The present project on wind turbines arose out of analysing the performance of commercial wind turbines in two disputed planning applications in the SouthWest of England. It became clear from this work that there are many wind turbines both large and small being installed on technically unsuitable sites up and down the country whereas, in contrast, many good sites are being overlooked because there is no pro-active mechanism to encourage their exploitation. We presented some written evidence about this matter to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee on the Economics of Renewable Energy and the opening paragraph of their final report states
The British economy will increasingly feel the impact of the Government's commitment to reducing carbon emissions including targets for greater use of renewable sources. The Government describes its targets for renewables as challenging; others have suggested they are unachievable. In any event, the effort to meet them will come at a cost and, if not properly managed, risks distracting attention from other means of reducing emissions.
A key phrase here is "if not properly managed". The simple fact is that the development of on-shore renewables in the UK is not being managed at all and is subject only to a very loose and poor set of planning guidelines (Planning Policy Statement 22 and its extension) which has encouraged a large number of planning applications which from a technical and economic standpoint do not bear examination. Much of the problem comes from planning decisions being made by officials (elected and non-elected) who often have little understanding about the performance of wind turbines. It is certain that this is happening in other countries too. There is an important place for wind power both on the small scale and the large scale but decisions on its suitability and practicality at both ends of the scale needs information not emotion as the basis for decision making. It is hoped that the WindPower program might make some small contribution towards achieving this.
About PelaFlow ConsultingI'm Les Bradbury and I started PelaFlow Consulting twenty five years ago to market a specialised anemometer that I had developed for making measurements in highly turbulent flow. At the same time, I also undertook consulting work in the general field of flow modelling and flow measurement. Although I am the principal consultant for PelaFlow, I have contacts with a wide range of other consultants both in academia and industry so that the range of consulting projects that we are able to tackle is very broad. The WindPower program is an example of a collaborative project. Others are:-
- Building Research Station - a theoretical and experimental study of measuring the 'leakiness' of buildings using a transient pressure measuring technique.
- AB Airlines - installation of a small ten computer network with software for carrying out airline ticket accounting.
- Littlewoods Stores - course on managing Internet orders.
- Mathematical modelling of the radiobiological response of prostate cancer cells.
- Various web designs for local organisations.
- Schlumberger - several projects on multiphase flow measurement
- Sedco-Forex - early 'kick' development in a small diameter wellbore
- Federal University of Rio de Janeiro - development of a probe for measuring the size and speed of bubbles in a multiphase flow.
- Modelling of wind turbine wake flows for a planning application for a site adjacent to an airfield - private client.
- Collating the UK wind speed database with the post code database - private client.
- Department of Trade and Industry (now BERR) - multiphase flow loop specification for NEL.
Prior to PelaFlow Consulting, I was variously a Senior Principal Scientific Officer (Special Merit) in the Scientific Civil Service, Head of Fluid Mechanics Department at Schlumberger Cambridge Research and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Plymouth. In addition to commercial reports, I have written around a hundred conference and archival journal papers on a range of topics in the general area of fluid mechanics and flow measurement.
Consulting work on wind turbines and other things.Although the WindPower program is reasonably straightforward to use, anyone who wishes to have an independent report on the performance of one or more turbines being considered for an installation can contact us through our Contact Us webpage and we will provide a quotation for such a report.
We are, of course, interested in other types of consulting work too and so, if you have a technical problem, feel free to contact us to see if it lies within our field of competence.
Dr. Les Bradbury