Offshore Wind Resource Assessment Buoy Pairs With Laser Wind Sensor

Vindicator Laser Wind Sensor
The Vindicator Laser Wind Sensor will add an additional level of intelligence to the WindSentinel offshore wind assessment buoy.

Catch the Wind’s Vindicator® Laser Wind Sensor (LWS) has been deployed by AXYS Technologies as part of validation testing of the WindSentinel™, the world’s first offshore wind assessment buoy. Commercial launch of the WindSentinel, which combines an AXYS floating platform with a Vindicator LWS, is expected once testing is successfully completed.

“The burgeoning offshore wind energy market provides us with tremendous growth opportunities,” said Phil Rogers, President and CEO of Catch the Wind, Inc. “Through our strategic collaboration with AXYS Technologies, we will be able to penetrate this market by providing capabilities to measure wind speed and direction, more accurately and at less expense than existing methods.”

As announced previously, AXYS and Catch the Wind entered into an OEM distribution agreement pursuant to which AXYS was granted a license to combine and integrate the Vindicator LWS with custom AXYS salt/fresh water fixed and floating platforms, and sell the bundled products worldwide.

Validation testing of the WindSentinel buoy is being conducted off of Race Rocks Island, in the coastal waters of British Columbia, Canada. The validation testing is designed to compare wind data collected by the Vindicator LWS on the moving buoy to wind data collected from a second, stationary Vindicator LWS, on Race Rocks Island 0.5 kilometers away.

The test site at Race Rocks Island was specifically chosen to thoroughly test the buoy’s capabilities. The waters surrounding Race Rocks see currents of 5 to 6 knots, waves from 2 to 4 meters high and winds up to 50 knots.

The WindSentinel was designed to assist offshore wind farm developers in determining the available wind resource at potential wind farm sites. It is the world’s first wind resource assessment buoy capable of accurately measuring wind data at heights of conventional offshore wind turbines. Historically, wind farm developers have had to construct permanent offshore meteorological towers or “met masts” to collect wind speed and direction data. It is estimated that offshore met masts can cost as much as U.S. $10 million to build.

“The WindSentinel solves many of the challenges that offshore wind farm developers face when forced to use a met mast offshore,” said Dennis Stacey, Renewable Energy Product Specialist at AXYS. “The WindSentinel allows developers to collect crucial wind resource assessment data more accurately, more quickly and less expensively than every other available option.”

Read Offshore Wind Energy Cost Modeling from Amazon.