Eco Factor: Low-cost device measures approaching winds a fraction of a second before they reach the blades.
Pentalum Technologies have developed a low-cost device that can be a boon for wind farms across the world. Dubbed SpiDAR, the compact device is expected as a marked improvement over existing LIDAR and other systems that wind power plants rely on to remotely monitor wind conditions.
The device is based on the use of sophisticated wind sensors coordinated and controlled through a central computer. All the data from different sensors onboard the device are relayed to the central headquarters from where adjustments can be made. The device is lightweight and easy to deploy on the ground. Once installed, the device can receive measurements up to 200 meters off the ground.
The SpiDAR units can measure approaching winds a fraction of a second before they reach the turbine blades, which allows the turbines to adjust direction and speed more precisely to meet the coming wind. The developers estimate that the device could deliver up to 15 percent better performance than systems that only measure wind behind the blades.