Port of Rotterdam wind study assists throughput

As Europe’s largest port, the Port of Rotterdam is constantly seeking innovative, breakthrough projects to increase the number and quality of its services.

Detailed wind study

The latest project, currently underway, is a detailed wind study of the 1000-square-kilometer port area. The study, carried out in cooperation with Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is intended to result in a software application that can allow the wind speed and direction in any area of the port to be mapped to an accuracy of under 10cm. This will be the world’s largest ever wind study conducted at this scale. Currently, if the wind speed at the entrance to the port exceeds 11m/s container ships cannot safely enter and must wait offshore. However, wind-speeds inside the port itself can be significantly lower and the plan is that the number of vessels waiting outside the port can be cut significantly. The airflows within the port will be charted by measuring stations and computer simulations. The calculations will take more than four months to complete, and will provide an extensive database to allow all wind speeds and directions to be translated into local wind data at any desired location in the port. A PC and mobile phone application will provide the port authority with on-the-spot wind data almost in real time. The airflows will also be used in simulators to train staff in guiding ships into the port.