Ledbury, UK — Babcock’s FORECAST has reached Stage 2 of the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) road map for commercial acceptance of floating LiDAR, having consistently exceeded the required KPI’s for accuracy and availability as verified by the Carbon Trust and DNV-GL.
Stage 2 permits that, following this successful pilot validation trial, the floating Babcock FORECAST ZephIR LIDAR technology may be utilised commercially.
Babcock’s business development manager, Chris McConville said, “We are delighted to have our approach to floating LiDAR, based on ZephIR 300, validated by the Carbon Trust and OWA partners in the most comprehensive validation conducted to date.
“The results so far show our solution provides industry leading performance in availability and wind speed accuracy.”
FORECAST is based around Babcock’s own low motion buoy, designed specifically to address the known adverse effects of motion on data accuracy. This high stability platform replicates the conditions of a fixed mast as closely as possible.
Babcock selected the industry leading ZephIR 300 wind LiDAR due to its proven accuracy and reliability. Hosting it on a stable platform, combined with ZephIR 300’s unique Continuous Wave laser technology which delivers unparalleled 50Hz wind data, completely removes the need for any mechanical motion compensation or post processing algorithms for data correction.
This approach provides exceptionally high data availability without compromising on accuracy and eliminates potential sources of error and uncertainty.
Babcock’s FORECAST also allows maintenance to be safely and efficiently conducted on station offshore, ensuring there is minimal disruption to data availability and system operational uptime. In addition, ZephIR 300 requires no recalibration or maintenance within the warranted period which becomes essential in any remote deployments as seen in offshore applications such as these.
Mr McConville added, “While this was a six month validation project, FORECAST has actually been offshore for 16 months in the Gwynt Y Mor wind farm. This included an initial development phase where the hull and mooring systems were tested and proven over a full calendar year. This is one of the longest continuous deployments of a floating LiDAR system.
“FORECAST has demonstrated that it can withstand demanding offshore weather conditions all year round, measuring winds reaching 100km/h in waves over 8m high, and continue to provide consistently high data availability.
“We thank our key suppliers, particularly the ZephIR Lidar team, and the OWA partners for helping us prove the excellent performance of FORECAST and providing increased confidence for our clients in the validity of the data collected.”
Carbon Trust Chief Operating Officer, Michael Rea said: “The trials are significant for both individual projects and also for the offshore renewables industry as a whole. The OWA programme, developed and managed by the Carbon Trust, has the aim of reducing the cost of offshore wind power by 10% in time for Round 3. The results of this research highlight how the development of innovative technology can play a very real and critical part in helping us reach this aim.””
The full report and results of the validation campaign will be published by the Carbon Trust later this year.
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