The network comprises organizations from 7 EU Member States. It represents the main actors of European research in wind resource assessment and constitutes an optimum framework for the education of young researchers. The important presence of industrial partners, with different levels of involvement, 2 as full partners and 9 as associated partners, assures an applied research orientation with optimal opportunities for the training of the fellows (secondments, access to test cases, etc).



There is urgent demand in highly specialized scientists from the wind energy industry. According to a survey commissioned by the Husum Wind Energy Trade Fair (September 2008) among the main companies active in the international wind energy market, an overwhelming increase of more than 700% in installed capacity could be reached by 2017 with respect to the accumulated wind power at the end of 2007 (718GW in 2017 with respect to 94GW at the end of 2007). The activity constitutes an annual increase rate of 20%, which makes wind energy one of the fastest growing technologies worldwide. Considering the leading role of the European wind energy industry, it is completely justified to increase the pool of European researchers in order to face this fast market expansion with the corresponding technology improvement.

Among the wide range of multidisciplinary topics on wind energy technology, the European Wind Energy Technology Platform (TPWind) identifies Wind Conditions as one of the key thematic areas for the development of the future research activities of the sector. The 3% vision aims at reducing uncertainties in wind resource assessment and forecasting below 3% by 2030, regardless of the site conditions (offshore, flat or complex terrain). This objective will make wind energy a major modern, reliable and cost competitive source of energy.

The title of the proposal includes two important words that define very appropriately the overall objective of the coordinated research within WAUDIT: audit and standardization. The possibility of working in close contact with the wind energy industry will provide a good perspective of current state-of-the-art on wind resource assessment at industrial level. A technical audit of current standard methodologies will determine the point of departure of each research project. Then, the aim of each research project will be to propose new techniques, of added value to the industry, in order to reach a new level of standardization of methodologies, closer to the state-of-the-art that can be found at academic level.

The step ahead, which is foreseen at industrial level, implies the migration from traditional measurement and numerical modelling techniques, applied at engineering level, to more advanced tools requiring higher levels of professional training in multidisciplinary fields such as instrumentation, Meteorology, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and data processing. In this sense, one of the roles that each fellow will play in his/her interaction with the industry will be to act as "educator" in order to demonstrate that this step is worth taking. As a result, the industry will have a better knowledge of the advantages of renewing standard methodologies and will increase the demand on specialized professionals, who can implement these new techniques at industrial level. In this context, the career prospects of the ITN fellows will be excellent both at industrial and academic levels.

Scientific Objectives

The overall project is divided in six thematic areas or work packages covering all the relevant aspects of the wind resource assessment.

  • WP1: Advanced measurement techniques.
  • WP2: Micro-scale numerical modelling.
  • WP3: Micro-scale physical modelling.
  • WP4: Multi-scale wind conditions assessment.
  • WP5: Offshore Meteorology.
  • WP6: Quality assurance of wind resource assessment models.

Figure 1: WAUDIT work packages with network partners and associated industrial partners. WP5 centralizes the scope of the project "Audit and Standardization"

Each work package and project is identified with a tool or technique, which is the object of development of a number of research projects that will be offered to the research trainees. The main objectives of the research program can be summarized as follows:

  • Decrease measurement uncertainties with advanced measurement techniques based on LIDAR and sonic anemometry (with respect to conventional anemometry based on cup anemometers and wind vanes).
  • Improve numerical models for wind resource assessment on complex terrain and offshore based on CFD (with respect to linearized models, only suitable in flat homogeneous terrain).
  • Improve regional available wind potential assessment (wind mapping) with the aid of meteorological models of different spatial/temporal scales.
  • Simulate stochastic winds and improve turbulence models for atmospheric flows and wind turbine wakes under various atmospheric and topographic conditions.
  • Carry out a comprehensive characterization of extreme winds at different atmospheric scales.
  • Determine the potential of using wind tunnel modelling as a complementary tool to field testing, for site calibration and validation of numerical models.
  • Construction of field and wind tunnel experimental databases for validation of numerical models.
  • Characterization of the particular wind conditions of complex terrain and offshore environments.
  • Benchmarking of all the different wind resource assessment techniques. Determine the range of application of each one through a cost versus uncertainty analysis.

Training Objectives

Most of the research projects have a duration of 36 months and have been coordinated with universities in order to be eligible as PhD programs. The total duration of the programme of 42 months allows some flexibility to accommodate the research and training activities. Obtaining a doctoral degree is considered an important objective of the Personal Career Development Plan (PCDP), that will be defined between the fellow and his/her supervisor and mentors at the beginning of the programme. The PCDP will be composed of a training programme, structured in three levels: host level (on-the-job training), network-wide level (wind assessment courses) and general Wind Energy level (background courses on wind energy and complementary skills). The general training will be coordinated with other active ITN under the umbrella of the European Wind Energy Academy (EAWE), in the form of introductory courses during annual PhD seminars and through a final conference The Science of making Torque from Wind. The objectives of the WAUDIT training program can be summarized as follows:

  • In-depth "training on the job" through individual personalized projects and training.
  • Provide a solid background on the state-of-the-art of wind resource assessment.
  • General training on all other multidisciplinary aspects of the wind energy technology and business, through participation in the activities of the EAWE.
  • Active participation in EU funded Cooperation projects and proposals like UPWIND3, ANEMOS.PLUS4 or SAFEWIND5.
  • Direct contact with industry for knowledge transfer and exchange of education.
  • Participation on scientific and managerial meetings at national level with industry and network wide with other fellows and organizations.
  • Improvement of communication skills through participation in coordination meetings, workshops and conferences.
  • Development of project management skills through participation in the definition and execution of a research project in cooperation with other ongoing projects and activities of the host and the ITN.

Above all, WAUDIT, together with the other ITN promoted under the EAWE philosophy, will constitute a new generation of young researchers that will disseminate a cooperative working culture throughout Europe.


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