Wind Energy Developer Expands Use of Second Wind’s Advanced Sodar Technology for Wind Measurement

Renewable Energy Systems (RES), one of the world’s leading wind farm developers and constructors, recently deployed a third Triton Sonic Wind Profiler for wind resource assessment. Since its founding in 1982, RES has been at the forefront of the wind power industry and is one of the fastest growing renewable energy companies in the world. RES Americas started in North America in 1997, and since then has either developed and/or built more than 10 percent of the installed wind energy capacity in the United States.

RES has long acknowledged wind data analysis as the single most important predictor of wind energy’s cost. "In today’s competitive environment, our customers want rock-solid information that takes into consideration the entire wind picture," said Andy Oliver, RES Americas’ VP Technologies. "Data collected from remote sensing technology, combined with met tower data provides this insight. In some cases it is not enough to simply extrapolate using a wind shear exponent – we want to determine how the wind speed distribution evolves with height and, when necessary, to in-fill between met towers."

RES’ North American business unit, RES Americas, initially deployed a Triton to a site in the Upper Midwest under a short-term rental agreement with Second Wind in late 2009 to validate the system’s performance against an adjacent 80 meter met tower and test its field reliability. The Triton passed both tests with flying colors, demonstrating excellent correlation with the tower (a correlation coefficient of 0.99, and average 80m wind speed within 0.2 percent of the 80m anemometers’ wind speed). The Triton also demonstrated its ruggedness under very intense environmental conditions, with ambient temperatures frequently below -30 degrees C and a sustained period of 10 weeks with the ambient temperature remaining below 0 degrees C.

Subsequent to the field test, the Triton was purchased by RES Americas in the spring of 2010 and redeployed to a site in Colorado to measure the effects of complex wind flows from nearby high ground. Since early June, this Triton has operated flawlessly. Based on this highly successful experience, RES Americas recently added a second Triton to its wind resource assessment fleet and deployed the unit to an advanced development site in the Central Plains for hub height and above shear profile verification. In Europe, RES Ltd. also purchased a Triton for use on wind projects in development in the UK.

"Triton’s success with RES, in the U.S. and UK, means a lot to Second Wind," said Peter Gibson, vice president of sales at Second Wind. "We knew that RES, as one of the most technically demanding and respected renewable energy developers and constructors, would hold us to the highest standards when evaluating our products, and we lived up to that expectation. We look forward to a long relationship with RES as they prospect, develop and construct wind energy projects worldwide."

Triton is an advanced remote sensing system that uses sodar (sound detection and ranging) technology to measure wind at higher heights than the previous tower-based standard. By measuring wind speeds at the turbine rotor’s hub height and beyond, Triton reduces uncertainty in annual energy production (AEP) forecasts. Triton’s ease of deployment also streamlines the wind farm development process.

Triton has achieved global market leadership as the world’s top wind farm developers use it to complement met tower-based measurements. Triton has been in commercial use since April 2008 with over 210 Tritons now installed worldwide.

For more than a decade, RES Americas has been developing, constructing, owning, and operating renewable energy projects across North and South America. The company employs more than 300 full time professionals working throughout North America, has constructed or has under construction more than 4,800 MW, and is working on a development portfolio of approximately 10,000 MW. RES Americas is dedicated to securing a sustainable energy future.

Second Wind develops wind measurement systems that make wind power pay off for consumers, investors and the environment. The company’s technology provides wind farm developers with the bankable wind data they need to plan, finance and operate highly efficient wind generation facilities. Second Wind’s systems are making wind farm development profitable in 50 countries on seven continents. Second Wind’s systems include Triton, the wind industry’s leading remote sensing system, Nomad 2 wind data logger systems, the ProMast 60, a 60-meter meteorological mast and the SkyServe® web-based data service.