Published on January 8th, 2010 | by Jerry James Stone
Scientists Sucessfully Test World’s First Laser-Guided Wind Turbine
The Danish National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy has successfully tested the world’s first wind turbine with a built-in laser-based anemometer.
A laser-based anemometer allows the wind turbine to “see” the wind before it touches the blades. With this information, the turbine can optimize both its position and the blades to use the wind more efficiently. It also increases the longevity of the turbine.
“The LIDAR system can be used to increase blade reliability by making the blades cope better with the irregularities of the wind. Subsequently it is possible to produce larger blades. This increases energy production, and power from wind energy becomes more competitive, says Lars Fuglsang, Global Research Director of LM Glasfiber
Laser-based anemometers split the laser in to two beams. One beam propagates out of the anemometer to measure particulates flowing along with the air molecules. That beam is then reflected back into a detector where it’s measured in relation to a second beam, which is used to calculate the speed of the particles.
“So we estimate that future wind turbines can increase energy production while reducing extreme loads by using this laser system” says Torben Mikkelsen, professor at Risoe DTU.
“The LIDAR systems allows a paradigm shift in the way of controlling wind turbines”, says Jakob Dahlgren Skov, CEO of NKT Photonics A/S.
These smart wind turbines can increase electricity production up to 5-percent. Since the system can adjust itself to gusts of wind and turbulence, the turbines benefit from using much longer blades. The increase roughly translates to increased revenue of about $39,000 per year for a 4MW wind turbine.
This advancement could cut CO2 emissions by 25,000 tons by 2025, if every 10th turbine was equipped with the technology.
UPDATE: This was sent to me via Facebook. How could I not share it?