The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) has published an update of the Floating LiDAR (light detection and ranging) Roadmap, accepted as the international industry framework for technology maturity. The Roadmap, originally published in 2013, has been revised to include updates, extensions and new performance indicators based on industry engagement to ensure the Roadmap continues to be fit for purpose for several user groups in to the future.

Since 2013, a number of systems have been accepted by the industry as attaining Stage 2 maturity status. To help the industry develop increased confidence the Roadmap now includes more detailed definitions related to Stage 3 maturity, providing industry practitioners with a tool to define floating LiDARs as fully commercial.

Floating LiDAR technology has demonstrated its ability as a cost-effective and accurate way of providing wind resource assessments to support financial investment decisions. The progress made in successfully adopting floating LiDAR technology is demonstrated by a recent OWA review of system deployments worldwide published last month, which reported 84 offshore deployments of 13 Floating LiDAR devices at approximately 40 locations across Northern Europe, North America and South East Asia.

Floating LiDAR technology reduces the need for meteorological met masts for the measurement of primary wind resource data. The devices measure wind speed and wind direction for a fraction of the cost of conventional methodologies and savings of up to 90 percent are possible, based on a typical investment of €10 million for a met mast.

The new Roadmap defines three stages of commercialization of a Floating LiDAR technology in terms of accuracy and availability Key Performance Indicators in more depth. The document also specifies how measurement uncertainties decrease as a floating LiDAR device moves from Stage 1 (baseline) through to Stage 2 (pre-commercial) and finally Stage 3 (commercial) providing a clear framework for floating LiDAR suppliers to align with.

Eloise Burnett, Manager of OWA Wakes and Wind Resource at the Carbon Trust said, “In the last five years floating LiDAR technology has matured at an extraordinary rate and the Roadmap has been key to this progress. This shows the importance of collaboration between offshore wind developers, manufacturers, academia and expert consultancies in pushing forward technology innovations, which advance the offshore wind industry. We expect this document to be as important as the 2013 Roadmap, to be a key catalyst to ensure data collected is bankable.”

This project was managed by the Carbon Trust and delivered by a consortium consisting of DNV GL, Frazer Nash Consultancy, Multiversum and Fraunhofer IWES.

The updated Floating LiDAR Roadmap builds upon the large body of work from the OWA, which has been instrumental in developing Floating LiDARs, most notably the floating LiDAR trials where systems were deployed alongside existing offshore met-masts. Five systems were tested at six different sites across Europe, in the world’s largest trials of these devices to date.

The updated Floating LiDAR Roadmap can be accessed here.

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