Widespread use of mechanical sensors in the industry’s past has been a matter of price and historical president with industryaccepted measurement standards. The IEC and MEASNET qualify Class A devices for contractual applications, the verification with standards, and resolving disputes between the utility and end customers. The financial community often follows regulatory recommendations and some financiers will not accept data measurements from a wind project unless they are measured by Class A sensors. Only a handful of windsensors meet this regulatory standard for wind measurement, all of them mechanical. Ultrasonic wind sensorsare not Class A certified because they were not readily available to the wind market when the regulations were written.
Lufft instruments in partnership with Windpole Ventures LLC and a well known third party engineering firm, initiated a study to observe performance of mechanical and ultrasonic anemometers. This twelve month field study will be made up of three 80 meter towers with ultrasonic and mechanical wind sensors operating side by side. Both sensors will be unheated. Boom configuration will be standardized and recommended by the thrid party engineering firm. Mechanical sensors chosen for this study will be qualified as ‘industry standard’.
The primary goal of the anemometer comparison study shall be to identify and explore any demostrated difference in the calculated mean wind speed values athat are reported by each sensor type. Other atmospheric variables that may affect wing speed measurements will also be investigated. Exampels of such characteristics are:
- Horizontal and lateral turbulence intensity
- Vertical turbulence intensity
- In-flow angle
- Sensor icing events
- High and low wind speed events.
In order to extablish the accuracy, reliability and performance difference between the Lufft ultrasonic anemometer and various common cup anemometers models, the third party engineering firm whall perform and in-depth review of six months of accumulated data from three test sites. The sites will be located in varying geographic locations popular to wind development. The locations are known to have different climates, wind characteristics and frequency of icing events. After the data is collected, the firm will deliver a detailed report summarizing the performance and accuracy characterisitng of the Lufft V200A sensor relative to various calibrated cup anemometer models. Whether a Class A or simply “industry standard” sensor will be used is to be determined. This report shall be supplied as industry research. It will be published as comparitive study for the quantitative comparison of ultrasonic and mechanical anemometers for use in wind assessment.
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