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Researcher Envisions “Smart LIDAR” to Improve Wind Farm Efficiency and Siting

  • Professor David Schlipf of the Wind Energy Institute suggests that “smart LIDAR” systems can be used to allow turbines within a wind farm to communicate with one another and capitalize on prevailing winds
  • Systems could also be used to allow engineers to determine if turbines are suitable for wind conditions at various sites
  • Schlipf previously demonstrated how predictive LIDAR can be used to protect wind turbines from potentially damaging winds

A German professor who previously demonstrated how LIDAR can be used to help wind turbines avoid damaging gusts of wind says the technology might also be used to create more efficient wind farms.

Professor David Schlipf of the Wind Energy Institute at the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences says “smart LIDAR,” or light detection and ranging, can potentially allow turbines to communicate with one another and adjust to meet prevailing winds. This could be done when taking the engineering aspects of the control system into account as well as the conditions at the site.

In addition, Schlipf believes that wind developers could gain smart LIDAR certification to test wind scenarios at different locations and see how well turbines stand up under varying conditions. Two years ago, Schlipf showed how predictive LIDAR could be used to direct turbines to pivot their rotors away from strong gusts, thus reducing strain on the mechanisms and allowing the blades to turn more quietly.

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