UK: ZephIR Lidar Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Wind Lidar Experience

UK: ZephIR Lidar Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Wind Lidar Experience

Industry-leading wind lidar company ZephIR Lidar have this month celebrated their 10th anniversary of wind lidar experience, having been the original pioneer of lidar measurement for the wind industry.

On 4th March 2003, a prototype ZephIR lidar was successfully installed on the nacelle of a Nordex N90 wind turbine generator, and immediately demonstrated its ability to measure the wind more than 100m in front of the turbine blades. ZephIR’s introduction sparked a revolution in anemometry, and it is now becoming routine for lidar to measure wind characteristics for a range of applications in the wind industry including resource assessment, power curves, wake analysis, and turbine-mounted systems.

ZephIR® exploited decades of research at UK government Research & Development establishment QinetiQ, and was further optimised for the wind industry by leading international renewable energy consultancy Natural Power. ZephIR paved the way for many of the remote sensing devices seen in the market today and whilst the ZephIR Lidar team continue to innovate with world firsts addressing complex client requirements, the product has now amassed more than 3.5 million hours of operation across 650+ deployments globally spanning a decade of commercial experience.

The world firsts listed below are the earliest reported examples that the company is aware of from open publications:

  •     2003 – The first wind lidar to make upwind measurements from a turbine nacelle
  •     2004 – The first and original commercially available lidar for the wind industry
  •     2004 – The first wind lidar to investigate the behaviour of turbine wakes
  •     2005 – The first wind lidar to be deployed offshore on a fixed platform
  •     2007 – The first wind lidar to take measurements from a turbine spinner
  •     2008 – The first wind lidar to be signed off against an industry-accepted validation process
  •     2009 – The first wind lidar to be deployed offshore on a floating platform (SeaZephIR)
  •     2010 – The first wind lidar to re-finance and re-power a wind farm
  •     2011 – The first wind lidar to be proven in a wind tunnel
  •     2012 – The first wind lidar to be used with very short masts and secure project financing
  •     2013 – The first wind lidar to provide true dual mode functionality in one platform; ground based and turbine mounted

ZephIR 300 measures wind characteristics onshore and on fixed or floating platforms offshore from just 10 metres (33 feet) up to 200 metres (656 feet) from installed position to inform wind regime and quality studies during the development and operation of wind farms onshore and offshore. ZephIR 300 is accurate, reliable and affordable, adding value to wind energy projects at every stage – from pre-planning, through development and on to operation. Every system is uniquely subjected to an industry-approved validation process, part of which occurs at the UK’s Lidar and Sodar test site, ensuring repeatable finance-grade data.

ZephIR DM is a Dual Mode variation of the successful 300 system. Mounted inside the spinner or on top of the nacelle, ZephIR DM measures wind characteristics in front of or behind a turbine from just 10 metres (33 feet) out to 300 metres (984 feet), during the operation of wind farms onshore and offshore. ZephIR DM provides valuable advanced wind data for the optimised performance and alignment of wind turbines, for in-situ power performance measurements, to reduce wind loading on turbine components and for specific troubleshooting applications.

Both products are supported by a comprehensive range of Support Packages to ensure end-to-end wind measurement services for clients globally.

Chief Scientist at ZephIR Lidar, Dr. Mike Harris, widely respected as one of the world’s leading experts and the pioneer of wind industry’s lidar technology, commented: “ZephIR originated during a time of great innovation in the UK and with the support of a comprehensive R&D, Engineering and Commercial team it has evolved significantly in to the systems we see today – ZephIR 300 and ZephIR Dual Mode. Both are founded on a very simple, robust scientific solution to a range of extremely diverse and challenging customer issues faced when measuring wind speed at unparalleled levels of accuracy in very harsh environmental conditions – be that offshore, in complex sites or actually located on or in wind turbine generators. Our application of science continues to de-risk the industry and will do so for many years to come. We are proud to be a part of that solution and look forward to the next ten years of wind lidar innovation – that is ZephIR Lidar through and through!” 


Press release, March 15, 2013; Image: ZephIR Lidar