RES, a renewable energy company, alongside ZX Lidars and KK Wind Solutions, has developed a Retrofit Lidar Assisted wind farm Control System (ReLACS) to improve the performance of existing wind farms.
The product will be trialed by TRIG, a British renewable asset investment trust, at several of its onshore wind farms across the U.K., starting with Altahullion Wind Farm in Northern Ireland.
The benefits of ReLACS include modernizing the wind turbine controllers and site monitoring processes, which results in increased annual energy production (AEP) while also reducing turbine loads, allowing for increased life expectancy. By extending the life of existing assets, there is an added sustainability benefit in keeping wind turbines operable for longer and delaying the need to replace them.
The product consists of three distinct upgrades to each wind turbine on site. Retrofitting controllers onto existing operating models enables access to modern algorithms that can optimize turbine performance, reduce loads, and enable advanced control and monitoring systems to be added. With the wind farm control and wake steering, yawing the turbine deflects the wind flow and provides overall energy gain. With Lidar Assisted Turbine Control (LAC), turbine-mounted Lidar can preview wind speeds and turbulence ahead of the turbine, providing optimized feedback that can ultimately reduce turbine loads.
“Given the importance of wind power to meeting climate targets, we are proud to have supported in the development of a product that can upgrade the performance of existing wind farms,” comments Peter Stuart, technical director at RES. “RES’ Wind Farm Control technology provides overall energy gain for turbines and optimises performance, which alongside the capabilities delivered by our partners will help to maximize the performance and lifetime of existing operating turbines.”
“This product is an exciting development for optimizing existing wind farms,” says Alex Woodward, commercial director at ZX Lidars. “The Lidar capability of ReLACS provided by ZX Lidars not only optimizes feedback that can reduce turbine loads, but it can also measure and validate and benchmark turbine performance. Lidars on every turbine will become commonplace and we are excited to have helped drive this ground-breaking project for the industry with RES and KK Wind Solutions.”
“Retrofitting existing wind farms with the latest technology in order to increase their life expectancy is both an economical and sustainable decision,” adds Kim Wichmann-Hansen, chief service officer at KK Wind Solutions. “Wind power technology has come a long way, and the KK WTC6 model that is retrofitted through ReLACS gives access to state-of-the-art algorithms that deliver multiple benefits for operators of existing operating wind turbines – from rotor imbalance cancellation to optimum yaw control.”