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RWE Innogy says it is testing a new method for measuring wind data at the 576 MW Gwynt y Mor offshore wind farm, which is currently under construction off the North Wales, U.K., coast.

The company has installed a low-motion buoy with a LIDAR system attached to the current met mast of the wind farm. The system, designed and built by British engineering support service company Babcock International Group, will collect data on wind speed and direction over six months, which will then be compared with information from the existing met mast.

RWE Innogy says the LIDAR measurement system can be used to gather data both horizontally and vertically up to a height of 200 meters. Due to its design, the buoy is also suitable for state-of-sea measurements (e.g., wave height, water temperature, current speed and direction), as well as for gathering environmental data such as the monitoring of birds and mammals.

The evaluation and assessment of the gathered data is being completed by British company Frazer-Nash Consultancy and the certification organization GL Garrad Hassan. The first results are expected at the end of this year.

In addition to the measurement buoy from Babcock, RWE has tested another measuring buoy at the wind farm. The prototype of Belgian manufacturer FLiDAR was set up in October 2012 and tested for approximately three months. During this period, it successfully gathered wind data that is currently being evaluated.




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