Lidar technology is flying high

With the rise of wind power, Lidar (which stands for Light Imaging Detection And Ranging) has the wind in its sails. A kind of optical radar that can measure wind speed using a beam of light, the technology can analyze the movement of invisible particles such as wind, in this case, and also gases, for example. At a time when we are seeking out the most promising wind power resources, laser remote sensing can forecast the resources of any potential site for a wind farm.
The size of a small fridge“It is vital because a wind project is a financial project. The accuracy of wind measurement dictates the profitability and the amount of money you will be able to borrow,” Alexandre Sauvage, who founded Leosphere near Paris, told the French newspaper Les Echos. His young company has developed a miniature Lidar model whose size – that of a small fridge – is its second advantage. The wind tracker is easy to transport and can take measurements on the ground by orienting beams vertically. This is far simpler than sitting an anemometer (or any other measuring instrument) on top of a mast several tens of metres high. It’s no coincidence that the EDF Group has already ordered two of the Lidars for use on its Fécamp and Courseulles-sur-mer sites.It provides vital assistance for controlling wind turbines and improving their yield.As well as being a valuable asset for planning a wind farm project, the Lidar can also be used on wind turbines. It can be mounted on the nacelle to predict the wind speed a few seconds in advance, orient the blades to the wind for optimum pitch, and even stop them in the event of a gale. It provides vital assistance for controlling wind turbines and improving their yield.Winds of changeLeosphere has been a major player in the construction of large wind farms in the USA for a decade. The company, which specializes in atmospheric observation, air security and weather forecasting, is planning to find its second wind by expanding in the East, with China a specific target. The clean tech company’s bid to win new markets received a boost last year when it attracted a capital investment from the Electranova fund, which is managed by Idinvest Partners in partnership with EDF. The investment should give it further momentum – according to Nicolas Chaudron, partner at the fund, “Leosphere is now in an ideal position to consolidate its global leadership in the Lidar market.”
To go furtherHow wind forecasting can predict wind turbine output

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