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To determine if wind energy is a viable solution to your energy needs, an accurate assessment of the wind resource is essential. For several years, the Wind Energy Center has provided state-of-the-art monitoring services in New England. Many of these wind assessment studies were the basis for completed wind farm projects in Massachusetts (10) and Maine (3).
In Massachusetts, we have completed resource assesments and data collection in Hull, Gardner, Templeton, Ipswich, Deer Island, Falmouth, Barnstable, and Kingston. In Maine, we've worked in Camden, Presque Isle, and Vinalhaven.
Services We Provide
Site location and site assessment
Wind resource measurement equipment installation
Maintenance of wind measurement equipment
Wind resource monitoring
Data collection and analysis
Wind resource measurement equipment removal
Wind assessment monitoring can be accomplished using a variety of different equipment:
- Field portable MET (METeorological) towers
- Installation on permanent towers in the vicinity of interest (ie climbable cellular or radio towers)
- SODAR (SOnic Detection And Ranging)
- LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging)
For many years the Wind Energy Center has installed temporary, self-erecting tilt-up MET towers to assess the wind resource. No permanent foundations are required to install these towers. The towers are equipped with suite of sensors at varying heights and field data is collected via a logger and send it back for processing and analysis. We specialize in installing MET towers from NRG Systems and Second Wind and use high quality sensors to monitor the wind. Manufacturers of wind monitoring equipment used include NRG Systems, Second Wind, Risoe, Etesian Technologies, RM Young, and MET One among others.
On or near a site where an existing tower is available, that tower can often be instrumented to supply the necessary wind data needed for your project. The Wind Energy Center has trained climbing personnel to install them. Permanent towers are often taller than portable MET towers, lessening the need to extrapolate the wind data to the hub heights of modern wind turbines.
SODAR (SOnic Detection And Ranging)
A SODAR is a sonic based method to measure the wind speeds aloft at several heights at once, generating an accurate wind and finer wind shear profile than is possible with tower monitoring. It relies on the ‘Doppler shift’ effect to indirectly measure the wind resource. Depending on weather conditions, it can accurately measure up to 200-300m (666-1000 ft). The Wind Energy Center has 2 models available: a Second Wind ‘Triton’ and an Atmospheric Research & Technology ‘ART VT-1’, both trailer mounted for quick installation.
LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging)
LIDAR technology is analogous to the SODAR measurement system in that it relies on Doppler shift effects to measure the wind, but uses an eye safe infrared laser as the scanning tool instead of sound pulses. As the laser beam is focused narrower than the SODAR’s sound pulses, it can be used in locations with minimal clearing of forest canopy. The Wind Energy Center has a trailer mounted ZephIR.