A Laser Wind Sensor – Making Green Even Better

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This is called a Vindicator, and it’s a fiber-optic based laser “module, processor, control system interface, and remote lens assembly,” to quote the product page.  Oh Hell.  Catch The Wind, Inc, I am going to pretty much copy the text from the product page – this is an awesome product.  I hope you don’t mind.  People should buy these so that wind power shows people how awesome green energy will be.  From the product page:

The Vindicatorâ„¢ fiber optic laser wind sensing system is capable of measuring real-time horizontal and vertical wind speed and direction data at varying ranges ahead of the sensor location. The sensor design is based on state-of-the-art fiber optic laser technology developed and patented at Optical Air Data Systems LLC.

The Vindicatorâ„¢ system is comprised of a fiber optic based laser module, processor, control system interface, and a remote lens assembly. The laser module and processor are housed in a separate assembly that may be located either within the wind turbine nacelle, or with the remote lens assembly.

Using concepts of Doppler radar, with light as the medium of detection, the Vindicatorâ„¢ system quickly senses air particle movement. The system processor analyzes the air particle movement producing speed and direction data for wind field determination. The first production variant of the Vindicatorâ„¢ system will sense the wind out to 300 meters; as industry learns how to utilize and integrate this new technology into various applications, longer ranges can be incorporated.

How does the Vindicatorâ„¢ laser wind sensor work?

The Vindicatorâ„¢ wind sensing system works by integrating with a wind turbine’s control system, or electronic brain. The system’s fiber optic lasers sense the wind that is approaching the wind turbine at a range of 300 meters and report this information to the control system in sufficient time to adjust and orient the turbine. Utilizing control algorithms, the control system will decide how to best exploit the wind that is approaching the turbine and command internal systems to either change blade pitch and/or re-orient the entire nacelle in an effort to maintain efficiency, reduce the effects of wind shear and gusts, or maintain a constant blade speed. Without the Vindicatorâ„¢ laser wind sensor, wind turbines will continue to be out of phase with changes in the prevailing wind.