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.
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.
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.