LM Glasfiber, a manufacturer of wind turbine blades, has entered into a three-year research project supported by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation to develop laser-based wind sensory systems as an integrated part of future wind turbines.
The project, which is a joint venture with Riso DTU and NKT Photonics, aims to significantly improve the load control of the wind turbines in operation, thus enhancing the efficiency of the turbines and improving its overall reliability.
Integrating light detection and ranging (LIDAR) into the blade will be an extension of LM Glasfiber's previous blade-monitoring technology. It is expected that the energy production may be increased by up to 5% over the wind turbine's 20-year life span, according to the company.
‘Whereas current blade-monitoring technologies measure the loads on the blades, integrating LIDAR into the blade enables us to measure the exact wind conditions to which the blades are exposed,’ says Lars Fuglsang, LM Glasfiber research director. ‘So basically, this means that instead of looking in the rearview mirror and realizing what the blade has been exposed to, we will be able to measure the wind in real time and either have the blade or the wind turbine react on this right away.’
A prototype of the new application of the LIDAR technology in wind turbines is expected to be available in 2012. LM Glasfiber plans to supply its customers with LIDAR-enabled intelligent blades by 2014.
SOURCE: LM Glasfiber