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Wind power industry explores potential of RS tech

US: Remote sensing is winning broader acceptance in the wind power industry as wind farm developers use it to measure wind characteristics such as in-flow angle and turbulence and investors gain confidence in remote sensing data. This is the message that emerged from the annual Triton User Group sponsored by wind intelligence technology company Second Wind at WINDPOWER 2011 in Anaheim, US.
Independent engineers, consultants, and Second Wind Triton Sonic Wind Profiler customers observed that remote sensing is a logical option as the wind power industry searches for new ways to reduce the uncertainty of evaluating and financing wind power projects.
Second Wind’s Triton is an advanced remote sensing system that uses sodar (sound detection and ranging) technology to measure wind in the areas that most affect a wind turbine’s performance. By measuring wind speeds at the turbine rotor’s hub height and beyond, Triton reduces uncertainty in annual energy production (AEP) forecasts.
One theme echoed by multiple panellists and in the technical sessions was concern that the portability of Triton and other remote sensors might encourage wind prospectors to do shorter measurement campaigns. “We cannot complete a wind resource assessment in a week!” said one panellist.  His message was reinforced by another panellist’s assertion that “Short-term measurement campaigns won’t sufficiently reduce uncertainty and can lead to incorrect conclusions.”
Evaluating complex terrain was a recurring subject. More than half of the Second Wind customers at one session said they are using Tritons on topographically complex sites and finding that the results correlate well with conventional tower-mounted instruments.
Source: Second Wind