Picturing the Wind
A pioneering project now under way in Denmark aims to produce real-time 3-D images of wind movements up to 200m above ground level. As Tony Sacks from Drives and Controls reported, this technology, which could revolutionise the design and economics of wind turbines, relies on advanced motion engineering developed by Heason Technology.
Risø DTU (National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy) a part of the Technical University of Denmark recently awarded a contract to Heason Technology to provide motion control systems and significant professional motion engineering services to help develop a full scale multiple LIDAR based laser scanner system. Called Wind Scanner, it is used to measure wind turbulence in three dimensions around huge wind turbines to further understand wind turbulence effects on existing turbines on wind farm sites and complex terrains worldwide; and use the information with the industry’s designers, scientists and meteorologists to develop turbines with higher efficiencies, improved safety and longer working life.
Heason Technology was awarded the contract in part for its considerable motion control system contribution to the ‘ZephIR®’ wind resource measurement system which uses a conical LIDAR scanning system. The ground based fully portable instrument, developed by Qinetiq, is now widely and successfully used to determine optimal sites for offshore and onshore wind farms, offering a significant cost and ease-of-use advantage over traditional and expensive wind measurement masts.
The motion control technologies used on Wind Scanner include ceramic servo motors and drives from Nanomotion (as developed by Heason for ZephIR’s optical scanning system), brushless servo motors and drives from Kollmorgan, and a 32-axis capable motion control system with fibre optic interface and high speed dual port RAM from Delta Tau.
Wind Scanner comprises three triangulated and fully synchronised ZephIR instruments, each modified with a 3-axis ‘steerable’ scan head designed and constructed by IPU of Lyngby in Denmark. The three instruments combine to measure the wind vector at several hundred points per second in a volume that will be able to encompass larger future-generation wind turbines – up to 150 m3.
This scope of supply for Heason included prototyping, designing and manufacturing the positioning systems with associated motion controls and all interfacing cabling. It covers the complex interfacing requirements for synchronisation between the ZephIR’s wind speed data and the steering system servo loop. The work also involved on-site assembly and functional testing in Denmark.
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