St. Paul, Minn.-based WindLogics says it is using sonic detection and ranging (sodar) technology to study wake effects of wind turbines at operating wind farms. The continuous wind profile data will contribute to development of better wake effect models and other improved wind farm design tools for optimized wind turbine placement.
‘These research results will facilitate advancements in wind plant design, resulting in opportunities for improved plant performance and profitability,’ says Mark Ahlstrom, CEO of WindLogics. ‘Downstream effects from both individual wind turbines and entire wind plants are very significant to energy production. In addition to the impacts on actual production, the resulting turbulence can impact equipment operations and operations and maintenance costs.’
To conduct this work, WindLogics purchased two Triton Sonic wind profilers from Second Wind Inc. The devices capture wind data at heights of up to 200 meters – well beyond turbine blade sweep.
The development phase of this research and development (R&D) project, conducted with funding from the Xcel Renewable Development Fund, will be completed in 2011, with the entire project completed by 2012. In addition to this project, WindLogics will be using sodar data to develop rich, on-site data sets for continuing R&D into improved wind resource assessment and forecasting services, the company says.