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Remote sensing is winning broader acceptance in the wind industry as wind farm developers use it to measure wind characteristics such as in-flow angle and turbulence and investors gain confidence in remote sensing data. This is the message that emerged from the annual Triton User Group sponsored by wind intelligence technology company Second Wind at WINDPOWER 2011 in Anaheim in May.
The Triton User Group meeting included a panel discussion on deploying Tritons as part of enhanced wind resource campaigns. Discussion ranged from greenfield prospecting to updates on the role remote sensing will have in a new International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) power curve standard. One theme echoed by multiple panelists and in the technical sessions was concern that the portability of Triton and other remote sensors might encourage wind prospectors to do shorter measurement campaigns. "We cannot complete a wind resource assessment in a week!" said one panelist.  His message was reinforced by another panelist's assertion that "short-term measurement campaigns won't sufficiently reduce uncertainty and can lead to incorrect conclusions." Evaluating complex terrain was a recurring subject. More than half of the Second Wind customers at one session said they are using Tritons on topographically complex sites and finding that the results correlate well with conventional tower-mounted instruments. During a panel discussion on the future of resource assessment, Gisela Kroess, Managing Director, Project & Commodity Finance, UniCredit Bank AG, told the audience that the main source of the widely reported 10 per cent underperformance of North American wind farms in recent years is due to overestimating wind speeds - a consequence of using flawed methods of measurement and extrapolation.
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