Substations for offshore wind farms get a Lidar upgrade

Leading Lidar provider, ZephIR Lidar, has released details of a new meteorological standard for offshore substations within operational offshore wind farms. Substations can now be delivered with a ZephIR 300M wind lidar as part of a Meteorological Monitoring Module to provide remote wind measurements from the system’s installed location up to 200 meters above without the need of a traditional meteorological mast.

The ZephIR 300M has been installed with ENGIE Fabricom during the fabrication of a substation that is headed offshore.

ZephIR Lidar has further confirmed the appointment of ENGIE Fabricom, part of the global group ENGIE, as a Trusted Service Provider to provide the engineering and construction of the Lidar into the Met Monitoring Module.

The offshore wind industry has for many years benefited from the contribution of Lidar through its many advantages when compared to hub-height met masts. Deployment of masts in offshore locations presents significant challenges including economics, planning, foundations, maintenance and ecological requirements. An illustration of the growing role of Lidar is the fleet of ZephIR Lidars mounted on fixed and floating platforms for bankable wind resource assessment campaigns during the feasibility studies for wind farms.

This, the most recent application of Lidar offshore, now moves into the operational phase of wind farms ensuring safe and efficient operation of the site for the OEM and owner-operator by using the available infrastructure – an offshore substation. ZephIR 300M deployed on offshore substations is used for studying wind profiles as information for both helicopter approach and measuring wind at turbine nacelle level. Data is monitored, quality-checked and integrated to the turbine and site’s SCADA system. In this way, continual power curve assessment can also benchmark performance and provide advance warning of problems, assisting with the planning and execution of maintenance strategies.

ZephIR Lidar technology was first deployed on an offshore platform at the Beatrice Offshore wind project in 2005

Alain Goddyn, Section Manager, Section Marine Technics at ENGIE Fabricom commented: “Combining expertise in offshore engineering and design with an industry-leading wind measurement system delivers something unique. ENGIE Fabricom and ZephIR Lidar are already seeing significant demand for our Met Monitoring Module with ZephIR 300M wind Lidar. Our first two contracts are already well underway. This really is such a cost-effective way of adding value to offshore substations and once again demonstrates the offshore wind industry breaking down barriers and embracing new concepts with clear safety and efficiency advantages.”

Matthew Smith, Head of Business Development at ZephIR Lidar responded: “By utilizing an existing offshore asset, the offshore substation, we are simply adding value at a very low cost that would otherwise be tens of £m to achieve. ZephIR 300M is accepted by Bank’s Engineer DNV GL for providing accurate wind measurements in this application, and the system is certified to be installed offshore. This coupled with the longest available service and warranty period of any Lidar, and ENGIE Fabricom’s leading offshore engineering and design expertise really is a winning combination. It makes you think, why doesn’t every offshore substation have a ZephIR 300M?”

ZephIR Lidar technology was first deployed on an offshore platform at the Beatrice Offshore wind project in 2005 – a ground-breaking project within the industry as a world-first installation of Lidar on a fixed platform offshore. The £2.6bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project has since reached Financial Close on 23 May 2016.

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