LiDAR To Improve Wind Turbine Efficiency

  1. LM Glasfiber has a research project funded to use LiDAR to develop more intelligent wind turbine blades.
  2. The actual wind speed and direction is not currently used in real time by wind turbines.
  3. It would seem that there are other applications that could use this approach.

A Danish company, LM Glasfiber is proposing to use LiDAR sensors to improve overall wind turbine efficiency by up to 5%. They recently entered into a three-year research project, supported by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation, to develop laser-based wind sensory systems, which the partnership hopes will enhance blade efficiency and become an integral part of all future wind turbines.

The project, which is a joint venture with Risø DTU and NKT Photonics, aims to significantly improve the load control of the wind turbine in operation, therefore enhancing the efficiency of the turbine and improving its overall reliability.

“LM Glasfiber is working on several projects to improve the efficiency of the blades and consequently the overall energy production from the wind turbine. An important part of this is developing ‘intelligent’ blades that measure the wind and either adapt to the current wind conditions or supply data to the wind turbine control system,” says Lars Fuglsang, LM Glasfiber Research Director.

“Whereas current blade monitoring technologies measure the loads on the blades, integrating LIDARs into the blade enables us to measure the exact wind conditions to which the blades are exposed. So basically, this means that instead of looking in the rear view mirror and realizing what the blade has been exposed to, we will be able to measure the wind real-time and either have the blade or the wind turbine react on this right away,” adds Fuglsang.

It would seem that there are other applications that could benefit from this kind of approach.

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