World's First Wind Resource Assessment Buoy Validation Underway

AXYS Technologies' WindSentinel offshore wind resource assessment buoy
Measuring offshore wind resources with the WindSentinel.
AXYS Technologies Inc.

AXYS Technologies has deployed the world’s first offshore wind resource assessment buoy – the WindSentinel™ – off of Race Rocks Island, in the coastal waters of British Columbia, Canada.

The buoy has been deployed for validation testing prior to its commercial launch. The validation tests are designed to compare wind data collected by a LIDAR on the moving buoy to wind data collected from a second, stationary LIDAR, 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 and winds up to 50 knots.

Reo Phillips, Product Development Manager with AXYS commented that, “The study’s findings are very exciting.” The trial will be taking place between October 23rd and November 15th and the results of the study will be released to the industry in early 2010.

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” that can cost as much as USD$10 million to build. By contrast a basic WindSentinel is approximately USD$1 million.

“This buoy solves many of the challenges 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.”

AXYS Technologies Inc. designs, manufactures, distributes and maintains remote environmental data acquisition, processing and telemetry systems.

Read Offshore Wind Energy Cost Modeling from Amazon.