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Maturing Technology, Maintenance and New Innovations

Since the start of Windtech International we have given a lot of attention to new, emerging technologies, of which several are entering a more mature stage. One of these technologies is lidar for wind measurement. Just a few years ago there was only one supplier of this kind of device. Nowadays there are at least five. Recently NRG Systems and Leosphere introduced their second generation lidar, the WINDCUBE v2. While measuring at heights up to 200 metres, the size and weight of the WINDCUBE v2 have been dramatically reduced to 1 metre square and 45 kilograms – a size that can be carried by two people and transported in a small car. In addition, the low power consumption of the unit (45 watts nominal) means it can run off a single fuel cell in many climate regimes. And, with access to Iridium satellite and 3G cellular services, users can access and monitor their data in real time, anywhere in the world. Most importantly, the simplified design of the WINDCUBE v2 and use of solid state technologies avoids the need for internal moving parts and makes the unit much easier to maintain. In the article on page 7 the authors Matthieu Boquet from Leosphere SAS and Evan Osler from NRG Systems talk about reducing uncertainty and cost with lidar remote sensing and the WINDCUBE v2.

{access view=!registered}Only logged in users can view the full text of the article.{/access}{access view=registered}Reducing Downtime

To improve the return on investment of wind turbines reducing downtime is an important issue. With proper cause analysis combined with good planning and execution of maintenance procedures, the failure rates could be cut by almost 50%. Over the past five years, Shermco Industries has repaired over 1,200 generators ranging from 660kW to 3MW. In the article on page 24 Kevin Alewine from Shermco describes strategies to keep turbines turning. This is especially important after the warranty period has expired.


Unconventional Approach
Most wind energy is generated by rotary horizontal or vertical wind systems. Francis C. Moon, the author of the article on page 29, is working on a different approach, ‘vibro-wind power’. ‘Vibro-wind power’ is the harvesting of energy from the wind as it flows around commercial and residential buildings through the mechanism of vibrating structures. The basic science involves energy extraction from bodies induced to vibrate by the action of fluid flow and vortices around flexible structures. The team’s approach at Cornell University has been to consider the effects of wind on multiple interacting flexible structures, such as hundreds of small cantilevers mounted to a surface. Other vibro-wind concepts include large, fluttering wind-vane type structures, as well as flag or leaf and tree type flexible structures.

Enjoy reading,

Floris Siteur
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