Wind Industry

To be profitable, wind farm operators need accurate assessments of wind to ensure turbines are at their most effective. Leosphere’s product range is unique in the industry. From development, through commissioning, operation and maintenance to repowering, we offer wind measurement Lidars to meet the requirements of all wind farm projects. Short-range or long-range, from the ground or from the nacelle, we provide remote measurements to a high degree of accuracy to help wind experts achieve maximum value from their investment.

Wind Resource Assessment

The profitability of a wind farm depends directly upon reducing uncertainty when wind resources are being assessed and when wind turbines are being fine-tuned. Project risks vary from site to site, depending upon size, site complexity and whether the wind farm is onshore or offshore.

Onshore, as a replacement for or in combination with a traditional met mast, a fixed or mobile Lidar can continuously collect wind profile data. There is no better practical way to characterize the wind resource up to tip height, and so reduce project risk.

By providing reliable data to investors and owners, the Windcube can make the difference between a project’s failure or success, saving millions in equity investments. Met mast planning constraints can slow down or jeopardize a wind program – but the Windcube is easily deployed, and can be put to work right away.

Close offshore, the Windcube 100S/200S/400S is the right choice for wind farm planning because it can map the wind from the land nearby. For wind farms located further away, the Windcube can measure the wind accurately from stable platforms located several kilometers from the shore. Where no platform is available, an offshore Lidar installed on a buoy can cost-effectively assess the wind resource.

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Power Curve

Power curve or power performance measurements are used to assess the performance of a wind turbine. It measures the correlation between the wind speed and the output power of the turbine, and compares this measurement with the contractual power curve.

This verification can be done at different stages of the wind farm’s life: during commissioning or before end of warranty, to verify contractual performance; outside warranty, to detect and improve potential underperformances; or during a financial transaction, to improve the asset value.

In simple terrain, the Windcube is the equipment of choice for such an application, as it measures the wind speed and wind direction very accurately and along all the rotor. For complex terrain or offshore applications, a Wind Iris located on the nacelle or a Scanning Lidar is preferred.

The Wind Iris is commonly used in offshore contracts in replacement of met masts, and is accepted as standard by leading turbine manufacturers.

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  • 2016_Leosphere_Whitepaper_Measuring power performance with a Wind Iris 4-beam in accordance with EUDP procedure Download this file
  • 2017_Leosphere_Whitepaper_The role of Lidar in offshore wind measurement Download this file

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Performance optimization

For existing wind farms, our solution is focused on power performance optimization. Seeing the wind exactly as the turbine itself experiences it is essential for meaningful performance analysis. Positioned on top of the nacelle, our Lidar systems measure, log and characterize the approaching wind at hub height.

This information is the link that is often missing between your turbine “fuel” – the wind – and your energy production. It allows you to analyze your turbines and wind farms in different ways, depending on your focus of interest:

  • Power curve measurements: measuring the correlation between the wind speed and the output power of the turbine, and comparing this measurement with the contractual power curve
  • Yaw error correction: measuring and correcting the angle of turbines in relation to the wind direction, resulting in potentially substantial increases in revenue
  • Nacelle anemometer calibration: accurate site-specific calibration of nacelle anemometers to improve SCADA monitoring values
  • Wind sector management: 360° analysis of turbulence intensity to maximize energy capture and decrease loads

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Wake & Forecasting

Thanks to the versatility of wind Lidars, new applications are now emerging in the wind research community, such as wake studies, wind farm forecasting optimization, feed-forward turbine control, wind farm management, etc.

Wake studies

Since the wind inflow determines the power output and the mechanical loads experienced by each turbine, assessing wakes is a key factor for the evaluation of the annual energy production of a wind-farm and the optimization of the wind farm layout.

The wake is the flow region downstream to a wind turbine, which is a step-order different from the inflow to the turbine in terms of wind speed and turbulence. The wake generated by the first array of turbines affects the wind that the second array will experience.

The combination of a scanning Lidar with a Wind Iris turbine-mounted LIDAR provides a comprehensive characterization of wake effects, at short and long distances simultaneously. It captures real-time wake effects in a wind farm, from turbine to turbine. This type of assessment can be done onshore or offshore, whatever the size of the wind farm and whatever the positioning and the size of the turbines.

Forecasting optimization

Power forecasting is the ability to predict the energy that will be produced by a wind farm in a mid to long-term time-line. For this application, the Lidar is the perfect tool required to perform remote measurements at a wind farm in order to estimate the upcoming wind.

Mid- to long-term forecasting is also crucial in terms of data assimilation in order to improve forecasting models with high-quality data on-site and off-site with a network of Lidars. Indeed, the profitability of a wind farm is measured by the total power output over the capital investment to build the farm. This calculation is entirely built on a power forecast – and hence on measurement of wind energy.

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Feedforward turbine control

The turbine-mounted Lidar fully characterizes the incoming wind field, measures its turbulence and shear, and captures extreme events such as gusts and wind direction changes. By incorporating this information in the turbine controller, informed and sound actions can be taken to reduce fatigue and extreme loads on critical components, and increase the potential power extracted from the wind.

These load reduction benefits are useful in customizing existing wind turbines to further reduce LCOE or designing larger wind turbines to increase Annual Energy Production, saving CAPEX by designing lighter wind turbines, and OPEX by increasing the lifetime of components and reducing O&M costs.

Leosphere works with leading wind turbine manufacturers on the integration of our technology into their turbines, providing engineering and scientific expertise to ensure the successful deployment of Lidar-assisted control at scale.

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