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Regional Field Verification

The Regional Field Verification (RFV) project, completed in 2007, focused on regional issues and opportunities and tested turbines to gain operational knowledge that could be applied nationwide.

The RFV objectives were to:

  • Support industry needs for gaining initial field operation experience with small wind turbines, and verify the performance, reliability, maintainability, and cost of small wind turbines in diverse applications.

  • Expand opportunities for wind energy in new regions of the United States by tailoring projects to meet unique regional requirements, and document and communicate the experience from these projects for the benefit of others in the wind power development community and rural utilities.

Through a competitive solicitation in 2001-2002, NREL selected one recipient to receive a subcontract, Northwest Cooperative Development Center, with Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (NWSEED) as a lower-tier subcontractor.

The work included:

  • project work and cost plan;
  • site development;
  • oversight over all phases of project site preparation, turbine installation, and instrumentation, and detailed reporting on these activities;
  • turbine commissioning and acceptance, turbine operation and maintenance oversight and reporting;
  • data collection and performance evaluation;
  • project management reporting;
  • outreach activities;
  • project review meetings; and,
  • final project documentation.

The installation and turbine procurement was the responsibility of third-party contributions and not a part of the subcontract.

During early project development, the subcontractor anticipated installing 10 turbine systems in the northwest region. As the project progressed, it became apparent that it was very difficult to find sites that met all the necessary criteria. Only six host sites were selected and developed.

Over a minimum 24-month period, NWSEED was responsible for all data collection, analysis, and reporting on the data collected for each turbine installation and the overall project. The project required that commercial data loggers be installed for data collection on each turbine installation. The data required are summarized in the table below.

Meteorological and Turbine Data Time Interval Data Requirements for Quarterly Reporting
Wind Speed (average, maximum, and standard deviation 1) 10 min Required
Average Air Temperature 10 min Required
Availability Status 10 min Required
Event and Fault Codes and Tracking O&M Costs As appropriate Required (recorded in manual logs)
Turbine Power (average and maximum) or
Energy Production (average and cumulative)
10 min Required
Wind Direction (average and standard deviation) 10 min Recommended
Average Air Pressure 10 min Recommended

1. Boom-mounted cup anemometer on the turbine tower is acceptable; cup anemometer installed at hub height on a meteorological tower is preferred.

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