Leading renewable energy consultancy Ecofys have released a comprehensive statement on the use of wind lidar, specifically ZephIR 300, to reduce uncertainty on wind farm developments. This statement is based on previously released recommendations from other consultancies and leveraging the companys own experience with wind lidars which includes the recent multiple purchase of ZephIR 300s by wind farm developer Raedthuys Group, currently on test at the Ecofys Wind Turbine Testing Services Test Site Lelystad.
Figure 1: Total project uncertainty found to be significantly lower when using Lidar around a site when compared to a met mast alone – Courtesy of Ecofys
Figure 2: ZephIR wind lidars on test at Ecofys WTTS Test Site Lelystad – Ecofys report that lidar will soon be part of the IEC standard for power curve measurements [Project reference: ZephIR 300 Verification at Test Site Lelystad, 2013] Courtesy of Ecofys
The statement reports that lidar wind measurements have been extensively verified against reliable reference anemometers over many sites and there is now industry consensus that lidar is a proven technology for wind resource assessment referring specifically to the ZephIR 300 which is one of the two systems most tested to-date. It is reported that other lidar systems commercially available would only attain the same status if successful on further verification tests.
A key driver in the successful implementation of lidar on wind energy projects is the cost-benefit analysis of systems. Ecofys have confirmed that the advantage of a well-designed wind measurement campaign is clear: reduced uncertainty leading to a lower equity investment and improved IRR. Ecofys summarise the cost-benefit analysis as follows:
Figure 3: Example cost-benefit analysis for a representative Dutch inland site, comparing different measurement strategies – Courtesy of Ecofys
On the announcement, Ian Locker, MD at ZephIR Lidar commented: The positioning statement from Ecofys and the body of work that supports it is very positive for the industry as a whole. With a decade of wind lidar experience at ZephIR, we are confident that methodologies that include the ZephIR 300 ultimately lead to projects with reduced uncertainty and a greater return on investment. Ecofys, amongst a growing community of Banks Engineers who accept ZephIR data as part of a bankable wind campaign, are keen to promote that this is indeed correct.