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05/11/10

ZephIR 300 Heralds New Era for Wind Lidar

Natural Power have announced the release of an evolution in lidar technology – ZephIR 300 – which draws upon the 6 years field experience and 450 deployments of the existing ZephIR system which has operated in over 25 countries worldwide. ZephIR 300 represents a validated, traceable and affordable continuous wave (CW) lidar system calibrated to an industry approved standard developed with GL Garrad Hassan, at the world’s first dedicated lidar test site.

The proven core technology, which remains essentially unmodified from the established ZephIR ‘175’ systems, has been rigorously tested via IEC equivalent power performance measurements, extensive onshore / offshore campaigns and tall mast verifications up to 193m. By employing this same proven core system technology the fundamental proof of concept and validation work carried out over the past six years remains valid and applicable to the repackaged and refined ZephIR 300.

Ian Locker, MD of the ZephIR business commented : “It’s been six years since our public release of a revolutionary and ground breaking new technology for the wind industry – lidar. Today we announce the culmination of over 18 months of development and testing, based whole heartedly around the experience gained from 450 system deployments and a successful and unique rental business which has ensured every decision we have made is in line with our customers need. ZephIR 300 is smaller and lighter, measures at ten heights, requires less power, yet the system retains an unmatched sample rate and availability of data with increasing height. We’ve learned, we’ve listened and we’ve evolved!”

Following consultation of an expert wind industry group in 2009, a new product development and validation programme within Natural Power has driven ZephIR 300 to be of single pod construction capable of operating from -40°C through to +50°C, robust high-specification connections, small in size, low in power, and fully CE compliant including approved true Class 1 eye-safe laser classification (IEC 60825-1) and EMC compliance (EN61236 Industrial and EN55022 Class A standards). Correlations during 2010 at the lidar test site saw excellent agreement between mast and ZephIR across all heights with less than a one percent difference in gradients and R2 values extremely close to the optimum value of 1.0. Importantly, testing has demonstrated high (close to 100%) constant data recovery (availability) rates with increasing height, from 10 to 200 metres. Measurements at 300 metres have also been taken and will be available on the device.

Alex Woodward, Product Development Manager at Natural Power said : “ZephIR 300 has been subjected to extensive reliability and safety testing over the past months. All systems are validated against a calibrated 90m met mast providing the traceability required by wind engineers. In addition, Natural Power possess over 25GW of technical project experience from site prospecting to quantitative wind resource assessments – a background which ensures all of our product innovations are fit for market. ZephIR 300 truly is designed by wind engineers for wind engineers.”

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