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Axys deploys Zephir lidar to enhance windfarm potential

22 Apr 2015

Weather sensing specialist claims "world-first and new standard" with floating lidar to optimize wind power yield.

Working in the field of wind and weather assessment for optimizing the performance of offshore wind turbines, Axys Technologies, Sidney, BC, Canada, says it has achieved a “world-first that will become the new standard in floating lidar devices” by deploying a dual ZephIR 300 arrangement on its WindSentinel buoy.

The WindSentinel “floating laboratory” delivers a customized full suite of meteorological and metocean data to operators, as well as critical windspeed and direction data used for resource assessment, to better inform the development of offshore wind farms.

The Axys WindSentinel combines the established NOMAD buoy, which is designed to perform in harsh marine weather conditions, and the ZephIR 300 continuous wave (CW) wind lidar, from ZephIR Lidar, Ledbury, UK, with more than 200 individual IEC-compliant performance validations.

Axys says its design philosophy for reducing risk associated with meteorological data acquisition “provides dual or even triple redundancy on all major components”. Furthermore, the inclusion of two wind lidars allows for staggered servicing of the wind measurement sensors to permit continuous data capture during development.

Terry Tarle, President & CEO at Axys, commented on the system, which was on show at last week’s Ocean Business 2015 expo in Southampton, UK: “Every element of our WindSentinel floating lidar buoy aims to include the best-in-class of sensors, cables and connectors.

"The ZephIR 300 is a market leader in the lidar sector and provides clients with an option for dual deployment, which offers an unparalleled level of risk reduction. We are also pleased to now offer Data as a Service to the industry with no need to acquire technology, just the high quality data it provides. We can mobilize to any site."

Ian Locker, MD at ZephIR Lidar, commented, “We have been working with Axys since 2007 where we installed a ZephIR system offshore on a purpose-built meteorological station. Almost a decade later and Axys is now delivering fleets of the WindSentinel floating lidar buoys for offshore wind resource assessment at a fraction of the cost of a traditional fixed met mast.”

270 MW UK offshore windfarm deploys ZephIR lidar

ZephIR Lidar has also just announced that it has installed a turbine-mounted ZephIR DM wind lidar on the 270 MW Lincolnshire Offshore Wind Farm. Located five miles off the UK’s east coast, the windfarm is a joint venture between Centrica Energy, Siemens Project Ventures and Dong Energy.

The operators are expecting that the installation of the lidar unit will help to identify opportunities where a possible improvement to production from the installed 75 Siemens 3.6MW wind turbine generators can be achieved.

Martin Stanyon, Performance Manager at Centrica Energy, the windfarm operator, said, “The effective operation of our renewable energy generating assets such as the Lincs Wind Farm is key. The turbine-mounted ZephIR DM, allows us to accurately measure the performance of each turbine, easily identifying areas for increased production through O&M strategies such as corrected yaw misalignment.”

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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