DONG Energy and SmartWind Technologies have installed an advanced radar system on the Westermost Rough Offshore Wind Farm, situated off England’s east coast.
The companies, which are collecting three-dimensional data on the wind flow, say the project, the first of its kind in the world, represents a paradigm shift in wind measurements. Texas-based SmartWind developed and deployed the BEACon radar system.
“We’re getting minute-by-minute 3D images of the wind flow through the wind power plant. This is a game-changer for the industry,” said Nicolai Gayle Nygaard, BEACon technical manager at DONG Energy. “We’re no longer limited to measuring the wind at just one point; now we can document the wind field across the entire wind power plant and coastal domain.
“Conventional measurement technologies are like using a torch in a dark room – you have a limited view,” Nygaard continued. “With the new radars, the entire room is flooded with light. We get new insights that provide valuable information for the design and operation of future wind power plants.”
John Schroeder, co-founder of SmartWind, added, “The acquired data will facilitate long-term studies and aid real-time decision-making. Application of this new capability will undoubtedly drive down the cost of wind energy, and we’re proud to help DONG Energy achieve this goal.”
Though the measurement campaign has just begun, the initial data is providing a wealth of detail on how the Westermost Rough array interacts with the evolving wind field, the companies say. In fact, every week, the radars collect so much data that the information volume exceeds Wikipedia in size, according to DONG and SmartWind.