A patented autonomous floating platform with integrated lidar and renewable power supply is capable of providing accurate wind data offshore. The SeaZephIR has successfully completed a long-term trial. The system is likely to provide significant savings over the cost of fixed offshore installations. It lets wind-project developers begin onsite measurements before traditional fixed structures are constructed.
SeaZephIR has a stable spar buoy and continuous-wave lidar tailored to the anticipated deployment at sea to maximise stability. The buoy also measures motion and wave heights, and is equipped with a met mast and Class 1 cup anemometer. The first commercial sale is to Garden State Offshore Energy (GSOE), a joint venture between Deepwater Wind and PSEG, both companies in renewable energy development.
Correlations were made to a fixed mast and two of the lidars – one onshore and one offshore. ZephIR features a low, 10 m measurement allowing correlations to long term data sets and short masts found on existing structures offshore.
“Technologies like SeaZephIR will be important in establishing a thriving offshore wind industry in the U.S. We believe the offshore lidar will give us a significant advantage by letting us collect empirical data on conditions at our proposed project sites sooner than we could with a fixed-base tower,” says Deepwater Wind CEO Bill Moore.
“This approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and this advanced technology is an important milestone for our project and New Jersey’s efforts to make progress toward actual construction at our proposed offshore wind farm site 20 miles off the New Jersey coast. Compared to a fixed-based tower, this buoy-based system will save the state $1 million on its rebate program and will be faster to deploy.