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Sensor system launched to improve wind farm performance

Remote sensing operation service will bring vital wind condition data to wind farm operators

The remote sensing system aims to help operators improve wind performance
The remote sensing operation system aims to help wind operators assess and improve turbine performance

A wind software developer has set up a remote sensing operation system to help operators assess turbine performance. Second Wind, a provider of wind measurement technology, software and services in Massachusetts, US, has launched a suite of wind farm operations services based on the company's Triton Sonic Wind Profiler and SkyServe Wind Data Service. 

Triton, a remote sensing system using sodar technology to provide wind measurements across the turbine rotor sweep, and SkyServe, a cloud-based data delivery tool, have already been widely adopted by wind farm developers for use in wind resource assessment.

Matt Hendrickson, senior director of Energy Assessment at 3TIER, said: “A well-qualified remote sensing system, such as the Triton, can be extremely valuable in assessing wind farm performance. Measuring the vertical structure of the wind profile and relating it to turbine efficiencies goes a long way in explaining varying production patterns. Used properly, this technology will ultimately increase the skill of one's predictive models."

Wind farms have a number of operating issues that can be explained and resolved based on thorough understanding of the wind conditions onsite. With the rapid global growth of wind energy and improvements in turbine technology, advanced wind information systems are needed to provide more comprehensive information about wind conditions.

The applications for Triton on operating wind farms include: complementing or replacing expensive hub height reference towers for operational support, compliance, power marketing and improved wind forecasting; mobile applications providing turbine performance, wake and sector analysis; and complete wind farm assessment for warranty and financial purposes.
Larry Letteney, Second Wind CEO, said: “2011 was a big year for Second Wind as Triton and SkyServe continued to lead the global wind power development market for remote sensing. In addition, working in partnership with several large wind farm operators and utilities, we deployed a large number of Triton in support of wind farm operations.”

Second Wind recently expanded into a new 25,000sqft manufacturing facility near Boston to support the wind industry's growing demand for Triton.

Technology to assess and improve wind turbine performance will be one of the many topics discussed at BigSwitch Offshore Wind. The international event, which Renewable Energy Technology (RET) is sponsoring, is taking place in Glasgow on 26th and 27th June. It aims to advance technological developments across global offshore wind by encouraging the European renewable energy industry to work with key delegations from the world’s biggest emerging markets, including China and India, as well as the US. For more information on the event, please email RET Editor Heath Reidy at