MNET Case Study: Wind Farm Inflow and Microclimate Monitoring
Wind energy is one of the most rapidly growing sources of non-fossil fuel based energy. Wind energy accounts for about 3% of the US consumption and is steadily increasing. Installation of both onshore and offshore wind turbine farms is expected to continue to increase worldwid. Large wind farms can easily consist of hundreds of turbines. The wireless based WISENSE MNET platform offers robust low cost solutions for several applications designed for Wind Farms. A couple of solutions are described below:
Real Time Turbine Inflow Monitoring: With the WISENET MNET, hundreds of sensors can be deployed to accurately monitor the characteristics of the inflow air driving the turbines. Given the scalability of our platform, the network can be as dense as desired. Turbulence characteristics of the inflow air and air flowing past turbines can be monitored in real time. The wireless platform is both easy to deploy and use.
Microclimate Surrounding Wind Farms: There is considerable interest in monitoring the microclimate surrounding wind farms, particularly in light of recent research pointing to the impact of the farms on local climate. Accurate monitoring of changes in temperature and humidity over a dense network surrounding wind farms can provide real time guidance and potential ways to mitigate the effects of the farm. Such a sensor network can also be used to design wind farms better.
Buoy mounted sensor network for off shore applications: A wireless platform is also ideally suited to being mounted on buoys for offshore applications. Coupled with a photovoltaic power supply, the sensor network is self sufficient and low-maintenance.