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jeudi 22 août 2013

Remote sensing expected to play an increasingly important role in the wind power market

Remote sensing expected to play an increasingly important role in the wind power market, says Navigant Research

The wind power market currently provides almost 3% of global electricity production. As the wind power industry matures, wind forecasting technologies are becoming critical in order to integrate greater amounts of variable wind energy into the grid. Meteorological towers, or met towers, the predominant solution at present, serve a range of forecasting needs. However, these towers will increasingly give way in the coming years to remote sensing devices, such as sound detection and ranging (sodar) and light detection and ranging (lidar) systems, according to research firm Navigant Research.

"As wind turbines grow in size, met towers are no longer cost-effective, and the value proposition for using met towers alone is rapidly vanishing," said Feng Zhao, managing consultant with Navigant Research. "Additionally, pressure from grid operators demanding more accurate power scheduling from wind farm operators and the challenges of lowering the cost of offshore wind energy are making remote sensing devices increasingly attractive."

Both sodar and lidar, the two primary technology approaches to remote sensing, are based on ground-mounted devices that use Doppler effect analysis to measure the wind space above the unit. The market dynamic between sodar and lidar is evolving and unsettled, as these technologies are effectively competing for market leadership but no clear front-runner has emerged, the firm said.

Alex Wolfgram, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Wednesday 21 August 2013]

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