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Offshore windfarms may be better placed and earn higher yields in the future thanks to the application of Lidar technology in the planning process.

© pixabay

Compared with conventional offshore wind-measuring methods, Lidar buoy measurement systems have the advantage that they can be flexibly employed, have low investment costs and can be installed quickly. Nonetheless, the type of swell, in particular, affects the accuracy of this laser-based measuring method.

This was the starting point for the research project MALIBU (Model-based approach for Lidar buoy-based offshore, wind-potential measurements: determining the degree of uncertainty), in which the University of Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES are seeking to use Lidar buoy measurements until June 2020 to reduce the uncertainties . The advantage would be that optimising the yield forecasts and the choice of location for offshore wind farms would lower the cost of developing the wind farm and thus, ultimately, the power generation costs too.

For this purpose, a model is to be developed which will inform planners of offshore wind farms about the effect of external conditions on the accuracy of measurements taken in any specific location. The results will help in future to optimise the choice of location or to adapt the buoy system before measurements are made. In this project, a simulation model initially calculates the uncertainties of the wind measurement in different locations. The results obtained will be validated using measurement data from the Fraunhofer IWES Wind LiDAR Buoy and reference measurements from a wind met mast.

The project is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) from July 2017 until June 2020.