Nacelle-Mounted Wind Iris LiDAR Gets Fitted At Uruguayan Wind Farm


Vermont-based Renewable NRG Systems (RNRG) and Ventus Ingenieria have installed a nacelle-mounted Wind Iris LiDAR system at the 20 MW Caracoles wind farm in Uruguay.

RNRG says its Wind Iris will monitor turbine performance and offer optimization solutions for the project, which comprises 10 Vestas V80 2 MW turbines and is located in the Sierra de Caracoles in the Maldonado region. Ventus Ingenieria is a Uruguayan company that provides engineering and consultancy services for energy projects.

The wind farm is owned by UTE, Uruguay’s national utility and electricity market regulator. UTE has the monopoly over all distribution and transmission activities across country and is the off-taker of all private wind farms with power purchase agreements.

The objective is to evaluate and quantify the performance of one specific turbine with the LiDAR system and propose solutions to improve the energy production. Based on the results reported by RNRG and Ventus, UTE will evaluate the success of the campaign and make a decision regarding the potential performance evaluation of the other wind turbines in the fleet.

Commissioned in 2010, Caracoles is the very first wind farm commissioned in Uruguay, according to the companies, which add that the project presents a moderately complex terrain and ambient turbine wakes – meaning that proper filtering and data treatment is critical. However, the Wind Iris yaw correction algorithm has already been validated in both waked and complex wind flow conditions.

“Uruguay has set a very ambitious national target for wind power. The country is on its way to achieving a staggering 45 percent wind penetration by the beginning of 2017,” explains Evan Osler, senior technical lead for remote sensing at RNRG. “The installation of this first Wind Iris in Latin America demonstrates the Uruguayan market maturity in benchmarking turbine performance and maximizing [annual energy production] with cutting-edge measurement technology.”

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