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WIND ENERGY MEASURING INSTRUMENTS

The sensors of wind-measuring instrumentation can be classified according to their principle of operation via the following (ASME, 1988): momentum transfer cups, propellers, and pressure plates; pressure on stationary sensors pitot tubes and drag spheres; heat transfer hot wires and hot films; Doppler effects acoustics and laser; Special methods ion displacement, vortex shedding, etc.

Despite the number of potential instruments available for wind speed measurements, in most wind energy applications four different systems have been used. Cup anemometers; Propeller anemometers; Sonic anemometers; Hot Wire Anemometer Acoustic Doppler sensors (SODAR); Acoustic Doppler sensors (LIDAR).

CUP ANEMOMETERS A simple type of anemometer, invented (1846) by Dr. John Thomas Romney Robinson, of Armagh Observatory. The cup anemometer is probably the most common instrument for measuring the wind speed. Cup anemometers use their rotation, which varies in proportion to the wind speed, to generate a signal. Most modern anemometers contain three cups with a vertical axis of rotation. The rotation speed of the cups is proportional to the wind speed. The rate of rotation of the cups can be measured by: mechanical counters registering the number of rotations; electrical or electronic voltage changes (AC or DC); a photoelectric switch.

The mechanical-type anemometers indicate the wind flow in distance. The mean wind speed is obtained by dividing the wind flow by time (this type is also called a wind-run anemometer). Three or four suitable designed cups fixed at the end of 3 or 4 small arms, which are joined around a vertical spindle symmetrically. Thus forms a sort of cup wheel

around a vertical axis, with a plane of cups parallel to it. When exposed to wind, the wind force acting inner side of the cup (concave side) is greater than on the outer side of the cup (convex side). So the cup wheel/spindle rotate with the wind An electronic cup anemometer gives a measurement of instantaneous wind speed. The lower end of the rotating spindle is connected to a miniature AC or DC generator and the analog output is converted to wind speed via a variety of methods. The photoelectric switch type has a disc containing up to 120 slots and a photocell. The periodic passage of the slots produces pulses during each revolution of the cup. The response and accuracy of a cup anemometer are determined by its weight, physical dimensions, and internal friction. By changing any of these parameters, the response of the instrument will vary. If turbulence measurements are desired, small, lightweight, low-friction sensors should be used. Typically, the most responsive cups have a distance constant of about 1 m. Where turbulence data are not required, the cups can be larger and heavier, with distance constants from 2 to 5 m. This limits the maximum usable data sampling rate to no greater than once every few seconds. Typical accuracy values (based on wind tunnel tests) for cup anemometers are about _2%. Advantages: Simple, omnidirectional (in one plane). Disadvantages: Moving parts wear out, slow to react to gusts. Not sensitive to wind speeds of fractions of a meter per second. Cup Counter Anemometer It is simplest and extensively used. Indicates on mechanical counter, the total wind run pas the instrument Generally it used 127mm conical cups with beaded edges with supporting arms attached to a central spider to form cup wheel The rotation is used to drive mechanical revolution counter having counter wheels made of self lubricating styrene base plastic. The counter is directly coupled to vertical spindle to count the number of revolutions. It can read 5 or 6 figures upto 9999.9 or 99999.9 km. By taking the counter readings at the beginning and at the end of any period, the average wind speed during that interval can be obtained. The observation usually mage for 3 minutes interval and gives the wind speed in km per hour or m per sec. Enable to calculate mean wind speed over measured time interval. No maintenance except lubrication to spindle once a year Cup generator anemometers

It is the most widely used instrument for instantaneous values of wind speed. Rotation of cup wheel used to generate an alternating voltage which is proportional to wind speed 3 cups with 127 mm dia conical cup beaded edges on vertical spindle, which rotates on two ball bearings. Spindle at lower end carries a permanent magnet made of high stability magnetic material and forms rotor part of permanent magnet type ac generator. As the spindle rotated with wind, the rotation of the magnet generates a single phase alternating voltage in the stator coils. Both voltage and frequency output generated are nearly proportional to wind speed Ac voltage is rectified by full wave rectifier and resulting dc output is measured on a suitable moving coil dc voltmeter and read directly to give wind speed. The wind speed is measured in km per hour. Photo electric cup anemometers for high wind speed Cup anemometers do not respond at lower wind speed and tend to deform or disintegrate at higher wind speeds. Photoelectric anemometer came to existence because of sensitivity and ruggedness. It has light weight plastic cup and withstand wind speed of about 200 kmph and starting speed of 0.3 m/s. The response time is 0.5 secs.

Cup Anemometer

Propeller Anemometer

PROPELLER ANEMOMETER Propeller anemometers use the wind blowing into a propeller to turn a shaft that drives an AC or DC (most common) generator, or a light chopper to produce a pulse signal. The designs used for wind energy applications have a fast response and behave linearly in changing wind speeds. In a typical horizontal configuration, the propeller is kept facing the wind by a tailvane, which also can be used as a direction indicator. The accuracy of this design is about _2%, similar to the cup anemometer. The propeller is usually made of polystyrene foam or polypropylene. When mounted on a fixed vertical arm, the propeller anemometer may be used for measuring the vertical wind component. The propeller anemometer responds primarily to wind parallel to its axis, and the wind perpendicular to the axis has no effect. It measures the speed of a wind powered turbine in the form of a propeller or wind vane. Rotation speed measurements cover the same plethora of mechanisms as for the cup anemometer, but in some cases the rotation drives a generator with the output from the generator being proportional to speed. Advantages: Simple. Compact can be hand-held. More responsive to gusts than the cup anemometer. Disadvantages: Moving parts wear out. Must be oriented into the wind SONIC ANEMOMETERS They use ultrasonic sound waves to measure wind speed and direction. Wind velocity is measured based on the time of flight of sonic pulses between pairs of transducers. One-, two-, or three-dimensional flow can be measured via signals from pairs of transducers. The spatial resolution is determined by the path length between transducers (typically 10 to 20 cm). Sonic anemometers can be used for turbulence measurements with fine temporal resolution (20 Hz or better). It measures the time difference between an ultrasonic wave traversing through air and a reference signal. Air movement causes the ultrasonic wave's phase to advance or retard relative to the reference. Advantages: No moving parts. Can take thousands of measurements per second, handling gusts and peak values. Disadvantages:: Costly, complex. Measures velocity only in one direction (illustration shows two orthogonal instruments used to overcome this).

Sonic Anemometer

Hot Wire Anemometer

HOT WIRE ANEMOMETER It measures change in wire resistance at a constant current (constant-current hot wire anemometer) or alternatively, the current required to keep the resistance of a wire at a set value (constant-resistance hot wire anemometer). Fluid (wind) passing over a fine wire that is heated by an electric current tends to cool the wire by convective heat transfer, and thus changes the resistance (unless the current is increased to compensate). Advantages: Good spatial resolution (measures the flow in a precise location), used for flow probes. Responds quickly to changes in flow (with appropriate control circuitry). Disadvantages: Costly, orientation sensitive, fragile and wire can accumulate debris in a dirty flow. ACOUSTIC DOPPLER SENSORS (SODAR) SODAR (standing for SOund Detection And Ranging) is classified as a remote sensing system, since it can make measurements without placing an active sensor at the point of measurement. Since such devices do not need tall (and expensive) towers for their use, the potential advantages of their use are obvious. Remote sensing is used extensively for meteorological and aerospace purposes, but only in recent times has it been used for wind siting and performance measurements SODAR is based on the principle of acoustic backscattering. In order to measure the wind profile with SODAR, acoustic pulses are sent vertically and at a small angle to the vertical.

For measurement of three-dimensional wind velocity, at least three beams in different directions are needed. The acoustic pulse transmitted into the air experiences backscattering from particles or fluctuations in the refractive index of air. These fluctuations can be caused by wind shear as well as by temperature and humidity gradients. The acoustic energy scattered back to the ground is then collected by microphones. Assuming that the sender and the receiver are not separated, the SODAR configuration is referred to as a monostatic SODAR. At the present time all commercial SODARs used for wind energy applications are monostatic. For wind energy applications, stricter requirements exist for uncertainty, reliability, and validity of the data than for other SODARapplications. For example, more work is needed on filtering techniques for data analysis. A general procedure for calibration of SODAR systems has not been established. Low wind speeds (below 4 m/s), high wind speeds (above 18 m/s), and other atmospheric phenomena can cause difficulty with SODAR measurements. This is especially important because power curve determination requires measurement of wind speeds up to the cutout wind speed, typically around 25 m/s. SODAR systems have been designed for use on land. For offshore applications problems associated with vibrations from supporting structures and an increased level of background noise have to be addressed. SODAR is designed to send a nearly vertical beam, and to use SODAR for the detection of oncoming gusts will require a near horizontal beam. SODARsystems have primarily been used at sites with easy access for maintenance and noncomplex terrain. For wind energy applications at remote sites, and in complex terrain, autonomous SODAR systems will need further development, especially in areas of power supply and data communication.

SODAR System LIDAR System LASER DOPPLER SENSORS (LIDAR) It bounces a laser beam off airborne particles (such as dust, pollen, water droplets) and measures the Doppler shift (change in frequency with velocity). LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging), similar to SODAR, is also classified as a remote sensing device, and can similarly be used to make measurements of a three-dimensional wind field. In this device, a beam of light is emitted, the beam interacts with the air and some of the light is scattered back to the LIDAR. The returned light is analyzed to determine the speed and distances to the particles from which it was scattered. In addition, the basic LIDAR principle relies on the measurement of the Doppler shift of radiation scattered by natural aerosols that are carried by the wind. Advantages: No mast required to measure wind velocities at heights up to 150m. Can measure flow field, not just velocity at a point. Works for any transparent medium containing particles. Disadvantages: Costly, complex. WIND DIRECTION INSTRUMENTATION (WIND VANE) Wind direction is normally measured via the use of a wind vane. A conventional wind vane consists of a broad tail that the wind keeps on the downwind side of a vertical shaft. A counterweight at the upwind end provides balance at the junction of the vane and shaft. Friction at the shaft is reduced with bearings, and so the vane requires a minimum force to initiate movement. For example, the usual threshold of this force occurs at wind speeds on the order of 1 m/s.

Wind Vane It has rigid cross arm are fixed under the movable vane, pointing four (or eight cardinal directions , E, S and W or N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW, N from which wind directions can be read. These vanes provide information of wind direction either observed visually or when coupled to a mechanical/electrical/electronic system. Wind direction is indicated on a indicating dial or a digital indicator