Data collected by the ZephIR 300 systems is used in the development phase of a wind farm project to assess the potential of the site, measuring how windy the site is and whether it will bring sufficient return on investment, all without the need of installing tall meteorological masts as the lidar is a ‘remote sensor’ of these wind conditions. Because wind farms are usually sited on remote uplands, accessible only by a 4x4 vehicle or helicopter, the systems needs to be able to run on their own for months at a time.
The LE-300 forms part of ‘ZephIR Power’, a fully modular off-grid power supply which along with a methanol fuel cell and 400-600W of Solar PV, feeds power into 220Ahr batteries to provide round the clock energy for each ZephIR 300 system.
“Reliability is critical,” said Alex Woodward at ZephIR Lidar. “During the winter months, input from solar drops so the LE-300 wind turbine plays an important role in keeping the systems fully powered during the Winter. The fuel cell provides a continuous source of power but needs to be supplemented by wind and solar to reduce refuelling, something that we want to minimise as much as possible.”
So far the wind turbines have been deployed across Europe, often in sites where wind speeds regularly reach 80mph.
ZephIR Lidar has been at the forefront of wind measurement using lidar technology for the past 10 years and has over 700 systems deployed on onshore and offshore wind energy projects. The remote wind profiling can be carried out across 10 user-defined heights from 10 metres (33 feet) to 200 metres (656 feet).