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SgurrEnergy and Areva generate "tsunami" of data

Lidar study will revolutionise thinking on loads and wake losses

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Three SgurrEnergy Galion lidar devices were installed in mid-February on an Areva 5MW turbine at Alpha Ventus, providing real-time data on the turbine’s performance and that of the wider wind farm. "Within the first week, we were making discoveries that challenge our preconceptions about how wind behaves offshore," SgurrEnergy’s technical sales engineer, Gordon Mina, told Windpower Offshore.

Two of the devices are installed on the nacelle, with the third on the transition piece. Data will be collected for three to six months and shared by the two companies. The information will influence the design of next-generation offshore turbines, ensuring they perform better, according to SgurrEnergy’s technical development officer, Peter Clive, who is managing the measurement campaign.

It will also be of use to designers seeking to improve wind farm layouts by reducing wake losses, and could support refinements to already operational wind farms. The devices can track a gust of wind approaching from a few kilometres away, measure its movement through the rotor and calculate how it travels through the rest of the wind farm.

"We’re getting a tsunami of high-value data coming off these machines," said Clive, who adds that the study is also helping to validate Galion's versatility. It has been designed as a multifunctional device, with the study at Alpha Ventus allowing data captured by the three lidars to be compared with information from the nearby Fino 1 met mast.

Another study aimed at generating similar offshore wind performance data is being conducted by Dutch research institute, ECN, at Sheringham Shoal.

Wood Group-owned SgurrEnergy is one of the leading names in offshore wind consultancy. Its clients include project developers, turbine manufacturers and investors. Its current projects include acting as the lenders' engineer during construction of the 288MW Meerwind Süd/Ost wind farm. It is also involved in Global Tech 1, Butendiek and Borkum West II in German waters as well as North Hoyle, Moray Firth, London Array, Lincs and East Anglia in the UK.

Further afield, SgurrEnergy is advising on Cape Wind and is assisting Hong Kong Electric Co with an offshore lidar project.

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