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Importance of met towers will decrease

Vaisala predicts SoDAR and LiDAR measurements are the future, as they can collect significantly more data.

Image: K. RadtkeImage: K. Radtke

The time meteorological towers for measuring wind potential is coming to an end. This is the conclusion of the study 'Remote Sensing Revolution: Why remote sensing will become the new standard for wind development, financing and operations' conducted by Vaisala, a Finish company developing environmental and industrial measurement technology.

The report combines Vaisala's own market analysis with the statements of leading wind energy developers, operators, financers and consultants. The trend is moving away from met towers towards remote sensing.

"The market is reaching a tipping point," said Pascal Storck, Director of Renewable Energy at Vaisala. "While published international standards for wind measurement may still lag behind the reality of what is being undertaken on the ground by developers and operators globally, conversations with our contributors make it clear that those who fail to take advantage of state-of-the-art remote sensing technology and expertise will soon find themselves at a significant disadvantage."

Main advantages of the portable ground-based SoDAR (Sonic Detection and Ranging) and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) devices are their versatility, mobility and the ability to be deployed and redistributed quickly and without authorisation in remote and hard-to-reach locations. In addition, remote sensing devices are capable of accurately capturing wind data at altitudes beyond the highest modern turbines, providing developers with a more comprehensive understanding of site conditions.

"We find that the wind power industry is struggling with the lack of versatility afforded by met towers.  Not only are hub height met towers expensive to procure, they are also expensive to install and maintain," says Storck.


Windfair Staff
met tower, measurements, Vaisala, LiDAR, SoDAR

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