Buoy-mounted LiDAR provides cost-effective measurement solution for offshore wind farm developments

Published Jan 20, 2014
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Fugro SEAWATCH LiDAR buoy_metmast

Successful trial results of the next generation of multi-purpose buoys tailored for the renewable energy industry have led to recent orders from operators in the wind energy sector. Dutch energy company Eneco has purchased Fugro’s new wind LiDAR buoy whilst a Japanese company is to deploy their buoy close to a floating power generation system.

Fugro recently developed an accurate and cost-effective alternative to the traditional method of wind profile measurements for offshore wind farms. In January 2014 Fugro’s SEAWATCH wind LiDAR buoy was deployed 75 kilometres off the coast of Ijmuiden in The Netherlands where wind data will be compared with data from three levels on a met mast at the site, together with data from a LiDAR mounted on the mast. This testing will enhance a field trial which took place off the coast of Norway in spring, 2012. The testing and results will be verified by DNV GL Energy, the world's largest independent renewable energy consultancy.

Wind data collected conventionally, using cup anemometers mounted on a wind mast is susceptible to distortion from the sensors and the mast itself - typically around 80 metres high. Fugro’s SEAWATCH wind LiDAR buoy accurately measures the speed and direction of wind across the diameter of wind turbine rotors in profile up to heights of 300 metres, whilst additional oceanographic sensors measure waves, current profile and other metocean parameters. Being a small platform, it can also easily be relocated.

Lasse Lønseth, Project Manager at Fugro OCEANOR said, “Developing a multi-purpose buoy for wind profiling, wave measurements and current velocity profiling has been a priority for us. Through a comprehensive research project various alternatives have been tested and in our opinion we have combined the best in this buoy.”

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