A wind Lidar is quite simply a remarkable piece of technology recently described by Avangrid as having ‘advanced the wind industry globally’. Generic Lidar benefits are summarised by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) as being ‘safer, cheaper, better, faster’ than traditional meteorological masts.
An invisible, eye-safe beam of light interrogates the sky above at user defined heights and determines the characteristics of the wind in order to advise and improve wind and meteorological industry understanding around the world, onshore and offshore, on fixed and floating structures.
Continuous Wave (CW) Lidars are able to achieve something unique in addition; this is due to their on-board ruggedized focussing system that allows for the following features:
1. All the laser power is focussed at each specific measurement distance ensuring very high sensitivity which in turn allows wind measurements to be rapidly integrated over short periods of times on moving platforms e.g. floating Lidar applications, or when the wind flow is changing rapidly, such as in complex flow, and equally over large areas when scanning the larger wind field, for wind turbine performance measurements
2. In all applications the focussing of the laser also ensures maximum availability that is not subject to the range being interrogated i.e. availability is not height dependent.
3. An unparalleled range of measurements can be taken from the installed location (~1m Above Ground Level) from just 10 metres and up to 300 metres.
These unique features of CW Lidar are described and evidenced below, beginning with vertical profiling use cases.