A site assessment service includes preparation, equipment shipping (Doppler lidar), installation, custom analysis and reporting, consultation, and decommissioning. WindProspector and WindTracer are available in a monthly data subscription with a minimum deployment of three months.
The WindProspector products in the service include a suite of software tools for smarter wind farm installation that allow comparisons with other sensors, and provides derivation of maps of seasonal wind averages and wind time series information at the potential locations of future turbines.
WindProspector develops each area’s wind resource map and validates it using independent existing measurement tools to establish bankability. From a single location, data is collected over a broad area encompassing multiple turbine sites. WindTracer, the Doppler-lidar equipment used, provides observations equivalent to many tall meteorology towers measuring the wind at a granularity of about 100m in the horizontal. Providing this level of detail using conventional met-towers, sodars, or vertical lidars is neither operationally nor economically practical. What’s more, conventional models working at this resolution typically produce questionable results. The two products provide a detailed guide for the best placement of turbines, onshore and offshore.
Wind-farm developers use the prospector product to understand the effects of terrain and turbine wakes, and to maximize the renewable energy output of a prospective wind farm site. The prospector is said to produce high quality, volumetric wind measurements to evaluate a wind resource potential.
Uncertainty in the potential production of a wind farm is largely driven by the ability to resolve wind-spatial variability – horizontally and vertically – and the long-term representativeness of site climatology associated with the assessment measurement period. While average wind data at a given tower is usually somewhat correlated with averages at nearby potential generator locations, small differences can easily sway the viability of a wind project.
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