Floating LiDAR systems (FLS) have emerged as wind resource assessment tools for offshore wind farms, with the potential for greatly reduced installation costs compared to fixed met masts in some cases. The challenges that FLS face and have to overcome to be considered as effective wind measurement options can broadly be grouped in two categories:
- The movement of the sea imparting motion on the LiDAR, and the subsequent challenge of maintaining wind speed and direction accuracy;
- The remoteness of the deployed system necessitating robust, autonomous and reliable operation of measurement, power supply, data logging and communication systems.
There is no standard that describes how a FLS should be deployed to get the best quality data for a wind resource assessment. A recommended practice document is therefore required to guide the use of FLS as a data source in wind resource assessments that lead to predictions of annual energy production. This document directly uses and builds upon a previously issued collection of recommended practices, published as a state-of-the-art report within IEA Wind Task 32 early 2016 and later that year updated within a Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) project. The OWA Floating LiDAR Recommended Practice and this IEA Wind report RP 18 only differ in an additional review iteration undertaken by IEA Wind.
This document has been developed by a group of FLS expert practitioners — including individuals from DNV GL, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands ECN, Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the University of Stuttgart — and reviewed by experienced industry stakeholders.
The goal of this document is to codify existing industry and academic best practices to help ensure that the best quality FLS data are made available for use in the wind energy resource assessment process.