Details of a novel three-year project to enhance the energy assessment and revenue forecasting for the proposed Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm 15km off the Angus coast in the East of Scotland demonstrates significant benefits of adopting bespoke technology to gather data. A ZephIR wind Lidar system was installed on an existing lighthouse structure thanks to a custom-built solution developed by SgurrEnergy (now Wood). This innovative solution not only negated the need for an independent offshore structure but the Lidar also took a comprehensive data set at heights from its installed location up to the projected turbine height, required no servicing and reported no major faults for the duration of the project. The project was carried out in cooperation with the Northern Lighthouse Board.
The ZephIR wind Lidar, attached to the world’s oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse at Bell Rock in Scotland, achieved up to 95% data availability and conducted measurements remotely at heights of more than 180m above the sea during the 3 years of detailed wind direction and wind velocity measurements. These datasets were taken to complement the wind data from an offshore met mast. At the end of the campaign, the Lidar and supporting structure were removed with no trace left on the historic lighthouse.
Matt Smith, an Offshore Expert at ZephIR Lidar, said: “At ZephIR Lidar, we understand that no deployment is the same and we provide the very best solution and customer service for every unique case. Seeing a ZephIR wind Lidar mounted on a heritage piece of infrastructure like Bell Rock lighthouse was a great experience! We thoroughly enjoyed working with Inch Cape Offshore Limited to get the best wind measurements possible with this a one-of-a-kind solution.”
Pre- and post-deployment validations of the ZephIR wind Lidar were conducted against a 91m IEC compliant mast at the UK Remote Sensing Test Site. From an analysis of the results, there was no significant changes observed in the Lidar’s performance during the 3 ½ years, with an absolute performance fitting well within the industry standard (IEC) requirement for accuracy on wind speed for a first class, calibrated, well-mounted cup anemometer.
John Reddish, Technical Manager, Inch Cape Offshore Limited said: “The ability to set up the Lidar system quickly and take wind measurements without the need for any additional infrastructure brought huge benefits to the project in terms of reducing costs, improving efficiency and staying on schedule.”
John added: “The harsh Scottish coastal climate naturally brings challenges to overcome and we had the additional challenge of protecting the heritage of the Bell Rock lighthouse. Thanks to its small, compact size and robust design, ZephIR’s wind Lidar provided non-intrusive technology that was resistant to the adverse effects of the environment and as a result, helped us gather the necessary data without the need for servicing or delays due to repairs.”