With offshore wind, bigger is better. Offshore wind farms cover more expansive areas, are located at greater distances from the shore and utilize larger turbines that reach taller heights — all of which contribute to increased power generation. In fact, turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa in May announced the launch of what will be the world’s largest offshore wind turbine — a behemoth with a 222-m rotor and 14-MW capacity.
From an article in WindPower by Elvira Aliverdieva and Mathias Regnier.
However, accurately assessing wind characteristics for taller turbines and larger areas as well as obtaining precise wind data at long ranges from the shoreline is increasingly challenging. This is especially true when considering the traditional equipment for wind measurement — meteorological masts — is often either impossible or prohibitively expensive to deploy and maintain offshore. This highlights the need for a solution that easily measures up to the full height of today’s turbines without mathematical extrapolation and can be moved around the site to conduct additional measurements or moved to support another campaign.
Consequently, uncertainty of the energy yield assessment is another significant issue. Since wind farms and the capacity of turbines are much bigger offshore, optimizing the evaluation of the wind resource can result in a positive economic impact. This is why an accurate performance and production forecast is critical to the bankability of a project during the development stage, and wind monitoring and power performance testing throughout the project’s operations require the most precise measurements possible to reduce uncertainty.
Enter lidar technology. Lidar is able to measure, with precision, the full wind regime. This includes characteristics of the wind flow and data such as wind speed, wind direction and turbulence up to 300+ m in height using vertical profilers, 700 m in front of turbines with nacelle-mounted lidar and 10+ km from the shore or from a platform with scanning lidar technology — all in real time.
For the complete article assessing offshore wind energy CLICK HERE.
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