Alternative Energy

Published on January 8th, 2010 | by Jerry James Stone

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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.

photo by Wiredsuperlaser_01ds

Things would have ended better for Vader if the Death Star was a wind 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 ”, 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.

Source: ScienceDaily

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Blowing up Alderaan was really a mistake, they were just testing renewable tech

Blowing up Alderaan was really a mistake, they were just testing renewable tech

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  • Fantastic! “Seeing ahead” is exactly the same process we use to produce (compress) very high quality video for transmission over limited bandwidths. Imagine an old fashioned reel-to-reel magnetic tape machine… an additional, “second,” playback head is placed several inches in front of the (usual) record head. Through this “advance preview,” it can instantly adjust the video compression and processing parameters to optimize the oncoming signal with substantially better quality than can a traditional CODEC encoder.

    This is the first time I’ve seen this “thinking” applied to anything like a twisting blade… makes sense. Definitely! Good luck!

  • Andrew

    It’s a good idea, but as with lots of theoretical advances with wind turbine design, there is a long way from a test setup to this becoming the standard for actual wind turbines in production.

    How much will it cost.
    How many turbine companies will actually implement it.
    How long will this all take.

    Hope it does test out at full scale and become the new standard, but realistically it 10 years to never for the timescale…

  • Lance

    Uhm, a company in the US, Catch the Wind, did this already last summer.

  • it looks like the technology out there can do some good

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