Wind Energy vindicator

Published on November 7th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

10

Laser Sensor Boosts Wind Turbine Efficiency

November 7th, 2008 by  

vindicator

Virginia-based Catch the Wind has an innovative solution for improving wind turbine efficiency— laser beams. The company’s fiber-optic laser system gives turbines up to 20 extra seconds to adjust to changes in gusts and wind direction. That may not sound like much, but Catch the Wind claims that its system can improve turbine output by 10 percent.

Catch the Wind’s LIDAR (light detecting and ranging) system is mounted on top of wind turbines. Three invisible laser beams pulse in front of the turbine and measure vertical and horizontal wind speeds as well as changes in direction. The system’s small size, minimal weight, and ruggedness make it ideal for permanent mounting.

The LIDAR model is currently being tested at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada, and Catch the Wind plans to have a commercial model available in 2010. I haven’t found any mention of the price tag, but my guess is that invisible laser beams don’t come cheap.

Photo Credit: Catch the Wind Inc. 
 
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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • nice…now we just need some death start monitoring system

  • nice…now we just need some death start monitoring system

  • nice…now we just need some death start monitoring system

  • That is sweet. Anything we can do to reduce wear and improve output has got to be a bonus.

  • That is sweet. Anything we can do to reduce wear and improve output has got to be a bonus.

  • That is sweet. Anything we can do to reduce wear and improve output has got to be a bonus.

  • Awesome ….now this will allow us to make good use of nature’s resources!

  • Awesome ….now this will allow us to make good use of nature’s resources!

  • Driving pass wind mills gave me the idea

    that they are fixed at their base.

    It does make more sense they would be

    more effective if they pointed to the wind,

    and to see wind coming ahead of time is even better.

    thanks from tony

  • Driving pass wind mills gave me the idea

    that they are fixed at their base.

    It does make more sense they would be

    more effective if they pointed to the wind,

    and to see wind coming ahead of time is even better.

    thanks from tony

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