New online tool to boost innovation in the wind sector

A free online tool has been launched to allow the wind industry to predict how technology upgrades could affect the cost of the electricity they can produce.

The tool, known as Delphos, has been set up by European sustainable energy innovation organisation, KIC InnoEnergy. In practice, the tool could encourage more innovation in the sector, as developers are given a reliable estimate of the potential savings generated by their product.

For example, the introduction of multi-part blades could improve onshore wind construction costs by around 5%. Around a fifth of high-wind sites could be using this innovation by 2025.

Developers can either use the library of data already included in the tool or input their own data to run scenarios to predict how their innovation will impact the overall cost of energy.

The onshore wind industry alone contributed more than £900m to the UK economy last year.

Antoni Martinez, KIC InnoEnergy’s chief technology officer for renewables, said: “Big businesses have long used their own in-house predictive models to help in the development of initiatives which have been beyond the scope of start-up and small business.

“But now any innovator can benefit from the ability to model the impact their product might have, prior to commencing expensive development process. We see this as a real game-changer in enabling innovators to bring their products to market.”

Currently available for onshore and offshore wind, Delphos will soon be extended to solar technologies.

‘Massive difference’

UK-based organisation The Carbon Trust has been testing the effectiveness of Delphos in estimating the future commercial value of technologies.

The Trust’s senior project manager Al-Karim Govindji said: “In assessing cost improvements of offshore wind, for example, we have historically relied on published data, but this tool allows us to customise the inputs in line with the results we get from our demonstration programmes.

“Having a free-to-use online product like Delphos has made a massive difference to the way we can assess the carbon impact of technologies we are supporting. We’re looking forward to using this tools for project cost verification in the future.”

Delphos in action

Earlier today (18 May), edie reported on the forthcoming CoClear online tool, which shows companies the correlated environmental and financial impacts of their operations.

Brad Allen

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