OWA Publishes Floating LiDAR Recommended Practice Report

The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) has launched an implementation guide for the deployment of floating light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems.

The OWA Floating LiDAR Recommended Practice report will enable developers to effectively deploy cost-effective wind measurement solutions to generate bankable data on wind resource, OWA said.

The report provides recommended practice for both trial campaigns and full deployments for wind resource assessments. Key areas for consideration include system configuration, power systems, data storage capabilities and mooring lines, in addition to guidance on pre-validation checks to ensure reliability and bankability of the data collected.

Floating LiDAR systems have emerged as effective wind resource assessment tools for offshore wind farms, with the potential to significantly reduce installation costs compared to fixed met masts in some cases, according to OWA. However there is currently no standard that defines how a floating LiDAR system should be deployed to get the best quality data for a wind resource assessment.

OWA has developed this new recommended practice document to codify existing industry and academic best practices to ensure that the best quality floating LiDAR data are made available for use in the wind energy resource assessment process. The OWA report has been developed to build on analysis previously published by the IEA1.

Javier Rodriguez Ruiz, Offshore Wind Resource & Metocean Lead Engineer at Iberdrola, said: “The development of this OWA Recommended Practices for Floating LiDAR systems is a fundamental milestone for the total acceptance of this technology to measure bankable wind conditions in the offshore environment.”

The report builds on the OWA Floating LiDAR Roadmap launched in 2013. The Roadmap sets out the validation steps floating LiDAR system developers should take to commercialise their systems and has been established as the international standard.

Jan Matthiesen, Director Offshore Wind at the Carbon Trust said: “The ability to capture bankable data on wind resource at a potential offshore windfarm site using floating LiDAR systems will help to reduce costs. Floating LiDAR technology offers a flexible way for developers to gain a deeper understanding of potential yield which will increase investor confidence and lower the cost of financing. We are confident that this guidance will help to set the industry on the right path to make the best use of this important technology innovation and make the greatest impact on cost reduction.”

Floating LiDAR systems are now being deployed worldwide, and in recent years the first systems have been installed to carry out wind resource assessments for offshore wind farms. The systems play an important role in reducing the cost of offshore wind in the pre-development and operational stages, whilst also offering additional flexibility and capabilities, OWA said.

The research was funded as part of the OWA Wakes and Wind Resource research area. DNV GL, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), Fraunhofer IWES, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the University of Stuttgart, contributed to the research.

Nine of Europe’s largest offshore wind developers contribute to OWA alongside the Scottish Government, to bring new innovations to market that will help to ensure that the typical cost of offshore wind is below GBP 100 per MWh by 2020. The current developers include DONG Energy, EnBW, E.ON, Iberdrola, innogy, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall.

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