Risø DTU, also known as the Danish National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, recently announced an interesting breakthrough in more efficient energy generation from wind turbines. This breakthrough involves using a laser-based anemometer built into the spinner to predict how the wind blows.
This smart wind turbines, as they are called, can increase electricity production up to five percent by using this new laser-based technology. What it does is measure the amount of wind coming upstream from the turbine by focusing a beam of “laser light at a distance in front of the wind turbine” so that it can “see” the wind before it hits the blades. This is said to allow the turbine to “optimize its position and adjust the blades so that the wind is used more efficiently, and the wind turbine lives longer.”
The increased electricity production, as mentioned above, comes primarily “primarily because it is possible to use longer blades.” This LIDAR system, as it is being called, generated results in recent tests which show it “can predict wind direction, gusts of wind and turbulence” so that “future wind turbines can increase energy production while reducing extreme loads.”
Risø DTU LIDAR [via Science Daily]