Fraunhofer IWES is setting new standards in onshore numerical site assessment in Namibia

Covering 4,000 km2 and generating four gigawatts (GW) of power, the scale alone poses significant challenges for current site assessment methods, prompting Fraunhofer IWES to use innovative and precise approaches for wind field calculations to optimize yield.

Green hydrogen enables the storage and long-distance transportation of solar and wind energy on a large scale, responding to the increasing global demand for this sustainable energy source.

ENERTRAG – together with Nicholas Holdings, shareholder at Hyphen – is developing the Hyphen project. The wind and solar energy farms near the coast south of Lüderitz have distinctive climatic conditions, as trade winds, an extreme desert climate, and cold Atlantic currents converge there.

The collaboration aims to navigate challenges posed by local variations in wind conditions, influenced by complex terrain and atmospheric conditions.

By leveraging data from global reanalysis data sources, Fraunhofer IWES focuses on refining wind field calculations with improved precision. This involves downscaling the reanalysis data to a few kilometers, ensuring superior resolution for specific regions. The team also dedicates attention to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) of wind in complex terrains, capturing data from mesoscale simulations and presenting them on a meter scale.

Adopting a time series analysis approach enhances accuracy by considering seasonal and daily influences on wind patterns. To ensure utmost precision, ENERTRAG provides measurement data from selected points for integration into simulations, enabling correlation and calibration.

The investigation into the effects of the wind farm on local wind conditions involves using the FOXES open source code developed by Fraunhofer IWES. This code offers higher flexibility for calculating wind turbine wakes than commercial tools, ensuring a more adaptable and precise analysis. Additionally, Fraunhofer IWES will optimize the wind farm layout using the freely accessible code “iwopy”.

“We are looking forward to collaborating closely with Fraunhofer IWES, drawing upon their experience and expertise in wind field analysis. Leveraging their vast knowledge gained from years of pioneering research, we are confident about achieving the optimal yield for our ambitious project. This collaboration marks a significant step towards mitigating planning risks and ensuring the best business case for the Hyphen project,” emphasized Ulrich Heindl, Head of Department, Energy Systems, ENERTRAG.

Dr. Bernhard Stoevesandt, Head of Department Aerodynamics, CFD, and Stochastic Dynamics, Fraunhofer IWES, explained: “The proper assessment of a site is key to the economic success of a wind farm. The computational simulation methods allow local and time-dependent analysis of the yields for all wind turbine locations in a project of this scale. This makes it possible to minimize the risks of the project in accordance with the latest R&D findings. We are looking forward to working together closely with ENERTRAG on the Hyphen project.”

Marco Raffinetti, CEO of Hyphen, said: “The team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Hyphen and will help drive our project forward using innovative techniques and first-class analysis. It is vital that we harness the power of Namibia’s wind and sun to create huge benefits for the country and its citizens, and we are pleased to welcome the institute on board.”

The Hyphen project:Hyphen Hydrogen Energy (hyphenafrica.com)

Hyphen refers to sub-Saharan Africa’s largest and only fully vertically integrated green hydrogen to green ammonia project. Following a competitive tender process run by the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN), Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, a Namibian-registered green hydrogen development company and joint venture of ENERTRAG is working in partnership with GRN to realize the Hyphen project.

The total project capital investment of over EUR 12 billion is roughly equivalent to the country’s annual GDP and is expected to cut 5–6 million tonnes (annually) of global CO2 emissions. Built on approx. 4,000 km2 of land within the Tsau ||Khaeb National Park and in and around the towns of Lüderitz and Aus, it is expected to create up to 15,000 new jobs during the construction phase and 3,000 permanent jobs during its operation. The wider Southern Corridor Development Initiative (SCDI) is expected to sustain approx. 200,000 direct jobs.

Hyphen is targeting annual production of 1 million tonnes of green ammonia by the end of 2027, expanding to 2 million tonnes by the end of 2029, with the majority exported to Europe, South Korea, and Japan to help decarbonize those economies. 

Contact person
Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES
Dr. Bernhard Stoevesandt
Head of Department Aerodynamics, CFD, and Stochastic Dynamics
Küpkersweg 70, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany
Tel. +49 (0)441 798-5011
E-mail: bernhard.stoevesandt@iwes.fraunhofer.de

Fraunhofer IWES
Fraunhofer IWES secures investments in technological developments through validation, shortens innovation cycles, accelerates certification procedures, and increases planning accuracy by means of innovative measurement methods in the wind energy and hydrogen technology sectors. There are currently more than 300 scientists and employees as well as more than 100 students employed at nine locations: Bochum, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Görlitz, Hamburg, Hannover, Leer, Leuna, and Oldenburg.