Reducing Wind Power’s Cost

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The wind, like the sun, is free. Great, but you can’t then use the cost of energy supplies to measure how much you have. The wind is also not a liquid or a solid where you can measure the weight or volume to see how much you have. Instead, we have to measure the wind as it is being used. With the right information, we can tune the wind turbines to run more efficiently.

Every wind farm will have towers set up to do just this. With offshore wind, the fixed towers can be a 10-million-dollar investment. The necessary permitting can be complex and costly. A floating tower has been tested in the North Sea that reduces these costs to around 2 million. “The FLIDAR (Floating Light Detection And Ranging), has been successfully tested 15 kilometres off the Belgian coast,” according to recent reports.

Advantages of the FLIDAR are listed as:

  • Reduce CAPEX and OPEX of offshore wind resource assessment
  • Reduce permitting requirements
  • Reduce risk on offshore investments
  • Deliver fast, efficient and flexible resource measurement campaigns
  • Simplify resource assessments worldwide, before, during and after construction

Obtaining the necessary permits is a reoccurring delay in implementing new clean technology. In order to shorten the necessary permitting, the FLIDAR is made from a standard industrial Buoy that has been adapted to marine regulations. The unit is powered by a combination of wind turbines and PV panels with a small battery backup.

Funding for the project has been partially obtained from the Flemish Government.

The FLIDAR is a joint effort between 3E, OWA and Leosphere.

Primary source Renewable Energy Magazine | Photo Credit: 3E via Offshore

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