Wind Energy Systems

The aim of this lecture course (6 ECTS) is that students understand the physical principles of wind energy and the technology of modern wind energy systems. It consists of lectures and exercises, and is given by Moritz Diehl and Rachel Leuthold.


  • global wind energy resource
  • aerodynamic principles of wind turbines
  • design of modern wind turbines
  • control of modern wind turbines
  • the electrical system of wind turbines
  • alternative concepts and airborne wind energy


During the first week of class, the course will be held on/in:

  • Tuesday 17th April at 14-16h in SR 00 014 (G.-Köhler-Allee 078), and
  • Wednesday 18th April at 14-16h in SR 00 014 (G.-Köhler-Allee 078)

In subsequent weeks, the course will be held on/in:

  • Tuesdays at 12:20-14h in SR 00-010/14 (G.-Köhler-Allee 101), and
  • Wednesdays at 12:20-14h in SR 01-016 (G.-Köhler-Allee 101)

The time-slots corresponding to the exercise sessions are listed with their corresponding exercise sheets, below.

Rachel has office hours on Wednesdays (for weeks without exercise sessions) between the end of class and 17h, in room 01-215 of building 102.

The optional weekly 'Fluid Mechanics Film Series' on Wednesday evenings takes place at 17h in room 01-012 of building 102.

We will also record the lectures and post them on this page. Those who ABSOLUTELY CANNOT make the scheduled course times should indicate their available times in this form, so that an alternate exercise session can be arranged.

The final exam will take place on Monday the 24th of September (14-16h in HS 00-036 of G.-Köhler Allee 101). A practice exam similar to the final exam can be found here. Questions can be asked on Friday, 14th of September (17:30h - 20h in SR 01-012 of G.-Köhler Allee 102).

Course Information

The Wind Energy Systems (WES) course has two modes of instruction: lectures and  exercises. The lectures are given by Moritz Diehl. One biweekly time-slot is dedicated to an 'exercise session' that will be coordinated by Rachel Leuthold ( biweekly exercises will be posted before the first time slot of the week, as well as an online form where you can report which exercises you finished. The online form must be submitted on the midnight before the presenting exercise session. Please note, that those reporting completed exercises may be volunteered to present their solutions during the following exercise sessions. To encourage honest self-reporting, presenters that are unable to demonstrate their exercise solutions satisfactorily will lose ALL points for the sheet. As the exercises are self-corrected, the solution to the preceding exercise will be posted when the new exercise is given out. The exercises consist of both analytical and computer-programming (language as desired) problems. (Exercise teams of up to three people are encouraged, though presentations of results must be done individually.

The grade for the course corresponds to the grade of the final exam. The total earned exercise score must be at least half of the total exercise points in order to qualify for the final exam. This final exam is 'closed-book,' which means that ONLY pens, a calculator, and one A4 page (that is, two sides) of notes can be used. The questions will be partially multiple-choice and partially short-answer.


Date Title Videos
April 17, 2018 Introduction Slides, Notes --
April 18, 2018 Notes Part 1, Part 2
April 24, 2018 Notes Full Video
April 25, 2018 Notes Lecture + Exercise Session
May 2, 2018 Wake Slides, Notes Full Video
May 8, 2018 Notes 1, Notes 2 Full Video
May 9, 2018 Notes (contd) Full Video
May 15, 2018 Notes Full Video
May 29, 2018 Notes Full Video
May 30, 2018 Notes Full Video
June 5, 2018 Special Event:  Rosskopf Full Video
June 12, 2018 Notes Full Video
June 13, 2018 Special Event: Dr. Schild --
June 19, 2018 Notes Full Video
June 20, 2018 Notes Full Video
June 27, 2018 Notes Full Video
July 3, 2018 Notes Full Video
July 10, 2018 Notes Full Video
July 11, 2018 Notes / Slides Full Video
July 17, 2018 Notes Full Video

A transcription of the above notes can be found here.

Special Events

  • The guided tour with Andreas Markowsky, manager of "Ökostromgruppe Freiburg”, to the wind turbines on Rosskopf will take place on June 5 noon and afternoon. We meet at 12:45 in St. Ottilien (reachable by bike or car in 30-45 minutes) and then walk up to Rosskopf, where we meet at 13:30 at the turbine closest to Roßkopfturm with Andreas Markowsky. He will talk to us in German, with Moritz Diehl as translator. We will all be able to enter the wind turbine tower, but it is impossible to climb up to the nacelle. Latest at 15:00 we will start to climb down and it can be expected to be home in Freiburg at around 16:00.
  • On June 13th, there will be a talk by Dr. Axel Schild on "Control-oriented modelling and controller design for wind turbines."  The abstract of this talk is as follows:

    The relevance of a wind turbine’s control system has steadily been increasing over the last 20 years. Due to the constant demand for reduced LCOE, the rated power of wind turbines was extended by increasing mainly the hub height and the rotor diameter. This increase in size makes the turbine components softer and more susceptible to fatigue. Consequently, the objectives of turbine control have  considerably evolved from simply maximizing energy yield into a wide spectrum of competing goals. This presentation gives an introduction to the mechatronic modelling of wind turbines. Such models can be used in a subsequent step to design and parameterize the control system, which is demonstrated at a typical pitch-speed-control loop. At the end, an outlook on future advanced control solutions is given.



Date* Exercise Sheet Reporting Form Session Slides Videos
April 25, 2018 Exercise Sheet 0 Reporting Form 0 Slides Lecture + Exercise Session
May 16, 2018 Exercise Sheet 1 Reporting Form 1 Slides Full Video
June 6, 2018 Exercise Sheet 2 Reporting Form 2 Slides Full Video
June 26, 2018 Exercise Sheet 3 Reporting Form 3 Slides Full Video
July 4, 2018 Exercise Sheet 4 Reporting Form 4 Slides -- (technical difficulties)
July 18, 2018 Exercise Sheet 5 Reporting Form 5 Slides Full Video

* reporting form is due the midnight before the exercise session...


Other Resources

Additionally, we'd like to offer an optional weekly 'Fluid Mechanics Film Series' on Wednesday evenings at 17:00 in room 01-012 of building 102. Information about the film series can be found here.

Here is a short description of vorticity and vortex methods.