Wind Turbine Alignment By Laser

A wind turbine and an approaching storm
Variable wind speed and direction places stress on turbines and reduces power output. Aligning the turbine to compensate for variables reduces that stress and improves efficiency.
(cc) Tom Simmons

Catch the Wind Ltd. has successfully improved the alignment of a turbine against oncoming wind utilizing its Vindicator laser wind sensor (LWS) during a field trial with Nebraska Public Power District.

“We are very pleased with the preliminary results of our field trial with Nebraska Power,” said Phil Rogers, President and CEO of Catch the Wind Ltd. “The results clearly showed that our laser wind sensor technology accurately measured wind speed and direction, and improved the alignment of the turbine against on-coming wind. We believe this will produce benefits for both wind farm operators and turbine manufacturers alike.”

The trial program was specifically designed to evaluate how using forward measurement of wind speed and direction can optimally align wind turbines with the approaching wind and reduce the off-axis stress loads on turbines.

During the field trial, Catch the Wind’s Vindicator LWS improved the yaw alignment control of a turbine significantly over traditional wind vane measurement equipment. Improving yaw control alignment is a key requirement of the wind energy industry as it results in reduced stress loads and improved energy production output.

Dr. Beth Dakin, Technical Director for Catch the Wind, presented the preliminary results of the field trial at the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) Annual Conference in Toronto on September 23rd. The trial program at NPPD’s Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility is ongoing. The facility has 36 large wind turbines, each capable of generating up to 1.65 megawatts of energy, for a combined total of 59.4 megawatts.

Catch the Wind is focused on making wind energy more profitable. The company is commercializing new technology that is designed to improve the performance of a turbine through the effective forward measurement of the wind, resulting in more energy production and reduced maintenance costs.

Read Wind Energy Systems: Control Engineering Design from Amazon.