A recent report shows that a laser wind sensor can increased the energy output of a turbine by an average 12.3% as a result of better alignment with oncoming wind and increased gust detection. The increased energy output comes from the Vindicator LWS, a laser-based wind speed and direction sensor that provided data to turbine controls. The sensor looks up to 300 m ahead of a turbine and signals the controls to turn and face the wind as it arrives. Developer of the sensor, Catch the Wind, Manassas, Virginia (catchthewind.com) says by excluding statistically insufficient measurement data, its unit improved energy output by more than 18%. “Our field trial with Nebraska Power further validated the capabilities of the Vindicator to improve the performance of a turbine through forward measurement of wind speed and direction,” says Catch the Wind CEO Phil Rogers. “By increasing energy output by only 10% per turbine, for example, we believe wind-farm operators can expect to generate a cash flow in excess of $600,000 for a typical 2.5 mega-watt turbine or $18 million for a typical 75-MW wind farm. The incremental cash flows generated during the first 24 to 36 months are sufficient to payback the initial investment.” The company says a technical report on its website details field trial results and an economic valuation model which calculates the financial return of the device.
Catch the Wind and the Nebraska power company agreed to a trial program to evaluate how using forward measurement of wind speed and direction can align wind turbines with the approaching wind and reduce the off-axis stress loads on turbines. A beta production model of the sensor unit was linked into the controls of a working Vestas turbine at the Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility near Ainsworth, Nebraska. WPE
Filed Under: Uncategorized