Wood announced on May 1 that it will be using the first LiDAR scanning device on two offshore wind turbines at the Hywind wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland. The LiDAR devices will help understand wake and turbulence effect from offshore wind turbines, measure turbulent wake spectra and investigate the effect of wakes on yaw motions.
LiDAR has become a key technology for the development of profitable renewable projects. This system uses light for imaging detection and ranging to measure wind characteristics, therefore becoming much more reliable than using more traditional measurement means such as meteorological masts. While these systems are typically used before a project is deployed to define the wind conditions that should be expected, they can also be used in existing facilities on top of turbines to measure wind conditions in its surroundings.
This technology is significant as, beyond becoming a key component in the development of wind projects all over the world, it even became a key component in the discovery of the mythical “White City” in Honduras. By using LiDAR in the Mayan city of Caracol, archeologists uncovered tens of thousands of archaeological features that were difficult to find after over 25 years of intensive ground surveys.
But the capabilities of this technology do not stop there. While LiDAR has been recently used as a key component for many urban planning, countryside management, livestock counting and post disaster damage assessment projects, among many others (a list of 50 applications can be found here) it can also be applied to self-driving cars. According to WIRED, this piece of equipment is “perhaps the most important piece of hardware in the race to unlock self-driving cars for everybody,” as it allows the car to “see” what is around it, as well as to measure how far such element is from the car. Essentially, it allows the car to create a live 3D map of its surroundings.
Meanwhile, in Mexico this technology is just being adopted in wind farms development. Spearheading the usage of this technology is Climatik, a 100 percent Mexican company that installed the tallest meteorological mast in Mexico at 130m using LiDAR for prospection in Mexico for the first time. To understand more about the breakthroughs this company is making in Mexico do not miss its Interview of the Week by clicking here.
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