Canada - New service deals with data challenges

A new service from Second Wind Inc. provides site developers, wind farm operators, forecasters and meteorologists with a new way of obtaining data from remote locations that is superior to current cell-modem and satellite transmission options.

SkyServe Satellite Wind Data Service provides reliable data transmission over the Globalstar satellite network, and combines weather data with precise time and location stamps, using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. Delivering a continuous feed of weather data for less than $400 per month, or daily data on a secure website for less than $200, it sets new standards for reliability and affordability.

Reliable Data in Real Time
The new SkyServe service was designed to overcome current challenges in getting reliable wind assessment data from remote locations, with benefits including:

• Reliable transmission compared to cellular networks - In the remote locations that represent many potential windfarm locations, cellular service may be spotty and unreliable. Cellular network providers also tend to focus on voice customers and often have little support for data transmission.

• More affordable and reliable compared to other satellite options - SkyServe employs Globalstar’s low-earth satellite network on a low-cost plan exclusive to Second Wind. It provides reliable service in any location below the 60th parallel, eliminating gaps in coverage caused by stationary satellites.

• Real-time data - SkyServe loggers transmit data via Globalstar every 10 minutes, which enables SkyServe to be used for weather forecasting as well as prospecting. The cost of current satellite services, coupled with spotty cellular service, prevents most users from receiving real-time data dependably.

• GPS location and time accuracy - Handheld GPS devices are usually used to record the location of meteorological stations. Installer confusion over coordinate systems, movement of masts and recording errors all contribute to misreported locations and uncertainty that can render data useless. Similarly, confusion over universal, local and daylight savings time can create questions about when data was collected. SkyServe solves both problems with a time and location stamp on all data as it’s recorded.

Two Plans for Two Types of Users
SkyServe Satellite Wind Data Service is available with two service plans, both of which are more affordable than other satellite services for transmitting wind data.

• Real Time Service - This service is designed for operators of multiple wind farms, project developers, forecasters or meteorologists with a need for continuous data streaming from remote locations. Wind and weather readings can be forwarded from a secure website directly into the customer’s existing software for analysis. The SkyServe real-time service is available now for $380 per month, with no activation fee.

• Daily Data Service - Second Wind also is developing a web interface for owners, investors and other parties who want to understand what’s happening in remote assessment locations, but don’t need continuous updates. The interface will let these users see current conditions and historical patterns with intuitive point-and-click functionality. Currently, Second Wind is developing interface options based on customer demand. Data will also be available by email, at a cost for either option of $180 per month.

Lost Data, Bad Decisions and Overnighting Cell Phones
Second Wind President Walter Sass said that positive feedback from customers suggests that the wind industry has paid too little attention to the shortcomings of current remote wind data assessment services.

“We’ve heard stories from operators and developers who have lost data for weeks at a time, who have phones shipped overnight to test availability of a cellular service, or who have made decisions based on assumptions about their data that later proved to be wrong,” Sass said. “We’re offering a solution for accessing remote data that is affordable, continuous and reliable. We believe it will create a new standard for the industry.”

Using SkyServe with Nomad® 2 Wind Data Loggers
The SkyServe Satellite Wind Data Service is available for Nomad 2 data loggers. With the technology, GPS coordinates for latitude, longitude, and elevation are incorporated into all collected data. GPS is also used to set and synchronize Nomad 2’s real-time clock to one-second accuracy for a time stamp on each data feed.

The Globalstar modem is activated by Second Wind at shipping time, with no need for separate or site-specific activation. Simply turning on the Globalstar-equipped Nomad 2 establishes encrypted communications with Globalstar’s network, gateways, and secure Second Wind servers. Nomad 2 revises the site coordinates if it is repositioned, and waits until it stops moving to avoid generating nuisance data.

The Globalstar-equipped data loggers upload data every ten minutes, and can run indefinitely with a 10W solar panel and battery charging system, even in northern climates. The loggers incorporate GPS data for a precise location of the met station, even after the logger is relocated. The information is then embedded in each data file. The Globalstar and GPS antennas and modem are totally integrated into the Nomad package, so there is no need for separate directional antennas.

Nomad 2 is a reliable tool for acquiring data from towers instrumented with up to 12 anemometers and up to 8 wind vanes, temperature sensors, or other meteorological devices. Thousands of Nomad 2s are in service at sites as diverse as Antarctica and Sub-Saharan Africa. Nomad 2s feature advanced operation, low power consumption, field reprogammability, and Windows™-compatible Compact Flash Cards for data storage.

Advantages of Globalstar Satellite Transmission
Second Wind has signed an agreement with Globalstar Communications to provide low-cost satellite service for the company’s instrumentation in the US and Canada.

Globalstar’s low-earth orbiting satellites are well suited to monitoring remote locations, transmitting data every 10 minutes. If a gap in coverage occurs, transmission can be made from another satellite 10 minutes later. Using protocols that Second Wind developed especially for the service, communications will work anywhere in the continental USA or Canada below the 60th parallel.
Globalstar continues to upgrade its network, regularly launching new satellites and improving coverage.

About Second Wind Inc.
Founded in 1980, Second Wind Inc. is a pioneer in the design, development, and manufacturing of electronics and software for the wind energy industry. Second Wind is headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA, and is privately held. For more information on Nomad 2 and Second Wind’s other products, visit www.secondwind.com.
Second Wind Inc
Posted by: Trevor Sievert (Online Editorial Journalist), Author: Susan Giordano
wind energy, wind farm, renewable energy, wind power, wind turbine, rotorblade, offshore, onshore

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