27 July 2021: On July 1st, 2022 Typhoon Chaba passed through a prospective site for offshore wind farm development in the South China Sea. The site was in the midst of a wind measurement campaign using an industry-standard ZX 300M Lidar integrated into a Blue Aspirations Floating Lidar System (FLS).
Figure 1: Blue Aspirations BA-FLS-NX5 Floating Lidar System deployment
Figure 2: ZX Lidars ZX 300M Lidar
Typhoon Chaba originated in the south and headed northwest for several days before finally making landfall in Guangdong province. Chaba brought maximum sustained wind speeds of approximately 140 km/hr, maximum wind gusts of 170 km/hr and maximum wave heights of 10.67m. Despite these extreme conditions, the Blue Aspirations FLS and its onboard ZX 300M Lidar continued operating effectively – achieving data availability for all measurement heights at 100%, marking the third occasion in which this FLS has continued to function without issue despite typhoon conditions.
Figure 3: Typhoon Chaba tracked in South China Sea with floating Lidar wind measurements
Despite the risks of building and operating wind farms on locations prone to severe weather, many of China’s offshore wind farms are developed in precisely these areas. Understanding the effect on turbines of extreme weather events – along with their frequency and severity – is therefore a key consideration for Chinese wind farm developers in their analysis of a prospective site: wind loading, for example, can give rise to structural failures of turbines if not properly addressed; high wind speeds, turbulence intensity, and acute directional changes can significantly impact turbine rotor thrust, generated power, torque and rotor speed; and suitable control strategies are required to mitigate potential safety issues.
Figure 4: Examples of turbine component design implications based on potential failure mechanisms
Recognizing these effects and the importance of providing developers with data that reflects the totality of the conditions at each site, Blue Aspirations and ZX Lidars designed their technologies to thrive even in the most extreme conditions. Redundancy is at the core of Blue Aspirations’ FLS design, seamlessly integrating backups for all main components, fuel cells to supplement power from solar panels and wind turbines, and a dual-Lidar setup in its standard configuration. For added resilience, its hull also incorporates a large counterweight and residual buoyancy that mitigates the risk of capsizing or sinking. It’s that commitment to robust design that allows Blue Aspirations’ FLSs to remain out on the water collecting data through even the toughest conditions.
Figure 5: ZX 300M records wind speeds of Typhoon Chaba
About ZX Lidars (formerly ZephIR Lidar)
ZX Lidars provides industry-leading wind lidar products, ZX 300, ZX 300M and ZX TM for wind energy and meteorological applications. These Lidars deliver accurate wind measurements in both onshore and offshore applications at measurement heights / ranges across the full swept area of the blades of modern wind turbines, and beyond. With more than 30 million hours of operation in the field, over 10,000 deployments (and counting), and the ZX300M accounting for 95% of all new offshore wind development measurements around the world, ZX Lidars has pioneered the use of Lidar in the wind industry in more than 90 countries globally. The company is proud of the many world firsts it has achieved with customers including: upwind measurements from a turbine nacelle, turbine wake studies, offshore deployments of both fixed and floating wind lidar, an industry-accepted validation process, re-financing and re-powering of a wind farm, successful demonstration of measurement accuracy in a wind tunnel and total wind project financing from a lidar without need for a met mast. To find out more visit: www.zxlidars.com
About Blue Aspirations
Blue Aspirations was founded to accelerate the global adoption of renewable energy by harnessing the power of data. Using software development and engineering expertise, and a team with more than a decade of experience in the renewables industry, Blue Aspirations partners with clients who share the company’s passion for sustainability and ambition to tackle the challenges of the next century. The company currently maintains a fleet of 17 floating LiDARs with more on the way and in just a few short years it has become the market leader for offshore wind measurement campaigns in China. Visit www.blue-aspirations.com for more information.