Lidar Research Programme 1st project announcement

Novel combined floating lidar + mast using the expertise of research institute CRES, floating mast company FloatMast and industry leading wind lidar ZephIR 300.

September 2014


Following the launch of the global Lidar Research Programme earlier this year, the first award has been granted to novel floating mast provider, FloatMast®, in association with leading research institute CRES. The project will see a ZephIR 300 wind lidar deployed on the FloatMast platform (shown opposite) to gather finance-grade wind data enhanced with a short mast in the Aegean Sea, close to Makronisos Island.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate that a mini tension leg platform (TLP), with a short met mast and a ZephIR wind lidar, can provide data of high accuracy using the established onshore methodology for financing wind energy sites – a DNV GL Stage 3 lidar, such as ZephIR 300, and on-site mast data. The high data availability and accuracy of cup anemometers, combined with ZephIR lidar's proven precision to measure the wind shear, are likely to carry significant impact on the offshore wind sector, providing a novel method for lowering the cost of offshore wind measurement campaigns. Further, where the short met mast intersects with the lowest tip of the blade then compliancy with the draft IEC 61400-12-1 standard could be met.

Commenting on the award, Dr Dimitri Foussekis, Research Engineer - Wind Energy Department, CRES explained: "ZephIR is the ideal candidate for these projects offering unique features like: its capability to measure at low minimum ranges matching the height of short met masts, its proven accuracy and its offshore design with no additional need for offshore configuration as other devices require. Moreover, results from previous offshore campaigns on floating buoys show that the high measurement rate and the high sensitivity of continuous wave lidars, unique to ZephIR, make them ideal and often remove the need for motion-compensation that other lidars require which only adds complexity, cost and risk."

A verification of cup vs. ZephIR Lidar data, according to the IEA Recommended Practices RP15, will be completed for at least 2 heights (40m above mean sea level and a lower one), by CRES which is accredited for such measurements and member of the MEASNET network. Apart from wind speed and direction, the verification will also comprise turbulence intensity and wind gust speed correlations, two quantities that play an important role in the classification and the design of the wind turbines.

Alex Woodward, Head of Product Development at ZephIR Lidar commented: "The Lidar Research Programme was designed to unlock interesting applications of ZephIR lidars. This project was finally selected as it offered a timely novel combination of floating mast and lidar that may well be compliant with future IEC 61400-12-1 power curve measurements. Offshore, our extended service and warranty periods with no need for annual calibration delivers real benefit to CRES and FloatMast. We look forward to seeing the results and, with ZephIR's low susceptibility to motion induced errors, we continue to see real benefit when compared to other devices when validating novel applications of traditional met masts such as these.

"The Lidar Research Programme continues to run so we welcome all interested in verifying commercial concepts such as these with our industry leading lidar systems – ZephIR 300 and ZephIR DM. Find out more at http://www.zephirlidar.com/lidar-research-programme"

The project is due for commencement in November 2014 and results will be published later in 2015.

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