Dundalk Institute of Technology worked with eight different countries to increase global knowledge of small wind turbines

Wind energy

Sharing information and research activities to advance wind energy research


The International Energy Agency (IEA) Wind Technology Collaboration Programme is an international co-operation. It shares information and research activities to advance wind energy research, development and deployment in member countries.

Dundalk Institute of Technology got involved with what is known as ‘Task 27’ to provide research in relation to small turbines.

The main goal was to provide field measurement and modelling activities. The aim was to improve knowledge of micro-siting small wind turbines at highly turbulent sites. Turbulence is the irregular motion of air currents. The research found will be used to help improve future small wind design standards.


Dundalk Institute of Technology contributed to research on wind characteristics and wind turbine power performance at multiple sites in Ireland.

This has included the analysis of multi-annual data from;

  • 1 large scale wind turbine in a semi-urban environment
  • 2 multi-instrumented rural met masts
  • 16 small wind turbine installations from the SEAI micro-generation field trial


Key Achievements

Technical Proposals

Technical recommendations and case studies. This is to assist with future standards and will help shape future robust designs and reduce capital costs.

Recommended practices

This is to help consumers avoid making poor decisions when installing a small wind turbine particularly at turbulent sites.

Main Findings

  • Turbulence model in current IEC small wind design standard found to be inadequate for highly turbulent sites. This may result in premature turbine failures
  • Power curves at consumer sites compared with accredited published power curves are highly variable
  • Roof mounted turbines significantly underperform and require very costly mounting structures for safety
  • Vertical axis wind turbine viability remains extremely challenging 

Why Dundalk IT joined the TCP?

There are many benefits to participation in an international study. It’s a good way to share research and get feedback from international experts on an ongoing basis. There are good networks with high level researchers from around the world. They can review your work, give new ideas and it can result in possible research collaborations.

   Read the Compendium of IEA Wind TCP Task 27 Case Studies (pdf)
What advice you would give to others who are thinking about taking part in an IEA Task/Annex? “It is important to have the research you are doing funded under another program for the proposed Task duration. Or be nearing to having the research already completed and ready for sharing with the Task”
Ray Byrne, Researcher, Centre for Renewable Energy DkIT