SSE replacing met masts with ZephIR 300 wind Lidar at Scottish wind farm

In a competitive tender, SSE has innovated in the area of operational wind-farm anemometry, at its 32-turbine Bhlaraidh Wind Farm located on the Glenmoriston Estate north-west of Invermoriston in the Great Glen, Scotland. The company is displacing traditional tall meteorological masts with a compact, ground-based ZephIR 300 wind Lidar provided by ZephIR Lidar.

ZephIR lidar at work

The low-profile ZephIR 300 wind Lidar, deployed with SSE at Bhlaraidh Wind Farm for operational site wind measurements.

Delivering wind measurements remotely from ground level to 200 meters, ZephIR 300 delivers a capability previously not possible on onshore wind farms, such as Bhlaraidh. The measurements have been successfully integrated with the onsite Vestas SCADA system, conforming to grid obligations and providing in-house Resource Assessment teams with best-in-class technology to monitor and optimize the operation of the wind farm.

“In a changing world of wind farm economics, site owners and operators are seeing the value that can be delivered by operational anemometry and with Lidar that can be achieved at a lower through life cost than traditional met masts, with the same level of grid compliance and SCADA-integration,” said Alex Woodward at ZephIR Lidar. “With noise assessments at 10 meters to power-curve measurements at turbine hub height and across the full rotor, ZephIR 300 is the industry standard for this application – the Permanent Met ZephIR now features widely across UK wind farms.”

Recent changes to industry IEC standards allowing for power-curve measurements taken from ZephIR Lidars further adds value to the system’s presence on the wind farm. And, with the Lidar based on the ground, all working at height requirements to perform the statutory inspections of the met mast are removed improving the overall safety standards of the site.

“We have successfully completed part of an ongoing project to innovate around the Cost of Energy of our wind farms, which has resulted in ZephIR Lidar being selected to support SSE in the replacement of our Permanent Met Masts with Permanent Met ZephIRs,” said project lead and SSE’s Engineering Manager for Project Delivery, Alan Evans. “These Lidar systems provide a wider, more appropriate set of wind measurements to enable more active operation and optimization of our wind farms — all without most of the infrastructure and investment required for tall met masts.”

He added: “The ZephIR 300 is SCADA-integrated with our turbine supplier, Vestas, making the device very much plug and play. We’ll be using the Lidars to optimize our management of the site, including the delivery of turbine power curve measurements.”


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