ECN Validates Sodar Technology

Second Wind’s Triton Sonic Wind Profiler, a ground-based remote sensing system used to measure the wind at the heights of commercial turbines, was confirmed as a valid stand-alone system for wind resource assessment by an Energy Research Center / Netherlands (ECN) study.

The Sonic Wind Profiler uses sodar, or sound waves, to measure wind resources. Companies have been looking to new, less costly wind measurement tools, such as sodar and lidar for wind projects. However, because they are new to wind developers, many financiers have questioned their bankability. Companies like Second Wind hope these tests prove the effectiveness of the technology.

Conducted at the ECN Wind Turbine Test Site-Wieringermeer (EWTW), the ECN study compared data from a Triton to data from a 100-meter tall meteorological tower instrumented with anemometers and wind vanes at four different heights. The study compared measurements of wind speed and direction, as well as wind shear profiles, vertical wind speeds, and turbulence intensity.

“The Triton can be considered valid as a stand-alone system for wind resource assessments, especially given the industry’s tendency towards higher hub heights,” wrote the report’s authors.

The three-month study, conducted last summer on a wind turbine test station at the independent national laboratory, concluded a year of travel for Second Wind’s demonstration Triton unit. The unit used in the study had been installed at outdoor demonstrations at over 20 separate sites in four countries and covered over 7,500 road miles in an open trailer prior to its installation at Wieringermeer.

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