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Windtech International May June 2024 issue






Harnessing a Tried and Tested Novel Technology

ImageRemote sensing methods such as sodar and laser anemometry (lidar) offer a means of obtaining accurate wind profiles for wind resource assessment, and hence reduce costs and risks associated with the siting of fixed masts. However, these techniques need to be extensively validated in order to obtain widespread acceptance by the industry. At the forefront of this process, QinetiQ, a UK research and development laboratory, has developed ZephIR - a laser anemometer which exploits decades of lidar research. QinetiQ began a programme to develop a commercial fibre-based lidar in 2001 in close collaboration with Risø, Denmark's National Research Centre; its ZephIR product is now becoming an established tool for wind profiling in the wind energy industry. In March 2007 Natural Power exclusively licensed the technology from QinetiQ to bring ZephIR to the global market and commence serial production. ZephIR has been tried and tested by the community, including an offshore evaluation programme with Germanischer Lloyd's WindTest on the FINO1 platform, and has demonstrated 100% availability and exceptional correlations with fixed masts. Systems have been deployed successfully around the world in many demanding applications that illustrate the flexibility and robustness of the solution.

By Michael Harris, QinetiQ Fellow, QinetiQ Ltd, and Ian Locker, Director-ZephIR, Natural Power

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