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Laser anemometry for control and performance testing of wind turbines



The objectives of the project are by means of laser anemometry into wind power technology are to

- Optimise the energy extraction/efficiency for wind speeds below the rated wind speed.
- Limit power fluctuations at wind speeds above the rated wind speed. - Improve the accuracy and reduce costs of power performance assessment of wind turbines by applying a suitably designed laser anemometer that provides measurement of the wind speed/flow of energy upstream of the wind turbine to which the wind turbine is exposed.


The idea is that the instrument shall be mounted on top of the wind turbine nacelle. The beam of the instrument is to be directed against the wind, "shooting" through the wind turbine rotor and thus measuring the along-wind component of the wind field at selected position(s) upstream. It is anticipated that it is possible to counter the disturbance caused by the continuous passing of the wind turbine blades electronically, and that the laser instrument can measure wind speed more accurate than e.g. the cup anemometer. The project has two sets of hardware as its goals:
- Development of a "general purpose instrument"; The purpose is to verify the applicability of the technique, especially to test accuracy, sensitivity to climate conditions, disturbance of blade passing. If possible, the instrument is tested also on a wind turbine.

- Development of a "dedicated instrument"; Following the (expected positive) results of the first stage, the components of the instrument are developed and the instrument tested on a 500kW and/or on a 1.5MW wind turbine.
In parallel to the development of the hardware components, methods of application (performance assessment and control) will be developed and tested with the general purpose instruments. Further, it is vital for the final success of the project that the results are exploited and the project partners will therefore before the termination of the project identify a suitable manufacturer of the commercial systems.


The expected output of the project is the above mentioned laser anemometers:
- A fully flexible instrument for test of operational principles and quality of measurements.

- A "demonstrator" of a dedicated, uniquely compact instrument for operational control and measurements. It is expected that the fully developed (dedicated) instrument can be made compact, with approximate dimensions 20x30x50cm, which will make it applicable for operational control as well as test purposes.
The estimated duration of the development project is 2 1/2 year. At the end of the project period it is expected that is has been demonstrated that the instrument work and that it can be made compact. Another 1-2 years must be expected to prepare series production and to introduce the instrument on the market. It is estimated that with a production volume of 1,000 units/year a production cost adequately low for cost-effective use will be feasible.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


399,Frederiksborgvej 399
4000 Roskilde

Participants (3)

James Howden and Co Ltd
United Kingdom
King's Cross Road
DD2 3EL Dundee
21,Alsvej 21
8900 Randers
WEA Engineering A/S
4000 Roskilde