Asia's first floating Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) station was deployed in August 2014, on the site of Fuhai Offshore Wind Farm Project in the Taiwan Strait.
The location is 10km off the coast of Changhua County, Taiwan, and the average water depth is 25m. It's the very first place in the Asia Pacific region to use such state-of-the-art device for offshore wind and oceanographic measurement.
The project was orchestrated by Taiwan Generations Corp. (TGC), along with the Research Center for Energy Technology and Strategy (RCETS) at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), AXYS Technologies Inc. (AXYS), and Sino Instruments Co. Ltd. The four parties are working in collaboration under National Energy Program - Phase II funding.
The floating LiDAR deployed offshore is Wind Sentinel, which is manufactured by AXYS Technologies, Inc. Wind Sentinel is the first floating device capable of measuring offshore wind power at the height of 50m to 200m in the sky, and the LiDar, which can be deployed with mobility at different sea area, is the best equipment to for NEP-II to record wind profile.
Fuhai Offshore Wind Power Project, the best reward winner of the Incentive Program of Offshore Wind Tower Demonstration System held by Ministry of Economic Affairs, has conducted research to build up a comprehensive database for wind resource assessment. Nine out of the ten best global wind farms are located in Taiwan Strait, which includes the Changhua sea area, according to international website "4C Offshore." This is evidence of abundant wind resources in the Strait. The success of LiDAR deployment in the Changhua sea area would help research into offshore wind energy and its related industries.
TGC indicated that, Fuhai Project as the first-place awardee of the Program, signed a contract with BoE in September 2013 to execute the demonstration project and is keen to collaborate with the government to achieve policy objectives.
The Fuhai Project has so far accumulated ten years of wind measurements in the intertidal area at Hanbao, Changhua County, and conducted other critical feasibility studies. Fuhai's offshore Met Mast is being considered for meteorological observation (deployment in 2015). The fixed met mast also assists RCETS to calibrate the measure accuracy of the LiDAR. With the deployment, TGC could gain more information regarding wind power in the Changhua sea area and hopefully can contribute to the development of Taiwan offshore wind farms.
Chief Lin Da-Huey from RCETS, said that the deployment of the floating LiDAR will produce a break-through and fruitful results to the Taiwan offshore wind farm development and related industries. The data collected up to 200m in the sky, including wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity, atmosphere pressure, sea water temperature, wave height and frequency, etc., would be of great value to wind profile research and instant sea weather condition.
Until now, there has been no data reported from floating LiDAR anywhere in the world. Utilizing the Fuhai Met Mast, TGC and NCKU collaboratively conduct cross reference of data from both the LiDAR and the Met Mast. When the work is complete, the results may facilitate development of offshore wind farms in Taiwan, and it would lay the foundation for the empirical study of LiDAR in academia.
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