RWE Innogy is testing LIDAR

Flidar's LIDAR system floats on the waves. (Photo: Flidar)
Flidar's LIDAR system floats on the waves. (Photo: Flidar)

In the course of the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) program of the Carbon Trust, RWE Innogy is testing two floating LIDAR systems (Light Detection and Ranging) in the offshore wind park Gwynt y Môr. The systems, made by the Belgian company Flidar and the British company Babcock, will be attached to buoys and deployed near an existing measuring mast in the wind park Gwynt y Môr. The collected data will be compared with the information from the measuring mast. This should help strengthen confidence in LIDAR technology.

The two test models differ mainly in their construction design. The prototype developed by Flidar floats on the waves, and will mainly be tested for its wave compensation. This prototype was already deployed in the Belgian North Sea and collected reliable wind data there. The measuring buoy from Babcock is currently under construction and is characterized by a design which hardly allows any movement at all. Both prototypes are to be towed by ship into the wind field and anchored to the seabed there. Power will be supplied by photovoltaic panels and micro wind turbines installed on the buoy.

"There is still a great need for research in the use of wind power at sea," explains Paul Coffey, COO at RWE Innogy. "The establishment of monitoring stations is an important step in order to collect data and analyze the local wind situation. These data are of fundamental importance for the development, construction and operation of offshore wind power plants. This is why we support the testing of these measuring buoys."

The OWA program was launched by the Carbon Trust, with the goal of reducing the cost of electricity generation from offshore wind power plants by 10% by 2015. Dong Energy, Eon, Mainstream Renewable Power, Scottish Power Renewables, SSE Renewables, Statkraft and Statoil are also participating, in addition to RWE Innogy.

Katharina Garus

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