welcome to our Sodar knowledge centre

what is Sodar?

Sodar stands for Sonic Detection And Ranging. It works by sending out a sound pulse and recording the reflections scattered back off the atmosphere. The change in sound frequency of the reflection is converted into wind conditions and the time it takes to detect the returned sound indicates the height of the measurement.

what data will a Fulcrum3D Sodar provide?

The Fulcrum3D Sodar provides data on wind conditions including wind speed, wind direction, wind speed vector standard deviation and inflow angle (related to vertical wind speed). Data from any additional sensors purchased such as temperature, humidity, pressure, pyranometers etc. is also provided.

bankable energy assessments

Yes, DNV GL accepts Fulcrum3D Sodar data in bankable wind energy assessments on benign sites. Combine this with the lowest Sodar price on the market, excellent flexibility of the unit and the overall package adds significant value to your development, operational or other sites as a result.

benefits of a Fulcrum3D Sodar over a mast

The Fulcrum3D Sodar offers some significant advantages to a conventional met mast:

  • Captures wind data over the entire turbine rotor up to 200m
  • Generally does not require a planning permit to install meaning you can capture more data faster
  • Easily portable allowing monitoring at a number of locations around your site to significantly reduce uncertainty
  • Significantly cheaper than a hub height mast – in some cases less than half the cost
benefits of a Fulcrum3D Sodar over Lidar

Sodars typically require significantly less power (often about 15-30% less than a Lidar) which means systems are cheaper and easier to install, especially in low light conditions. Sodars are also around 20-25% of the cost of most Lidar systems, meaning you can get 4 or 5 Sodar’s for the price of 1. This can flow through to either increased number of monitoring locations (and lower uncertainty) or high quality data from the same number of locations at a significantly reduced cost. Sodar also better measure the wind speed vector that wind turbines see when they operate.

how is the Fulcrum3D Sodar better than its competitors?

The Fulcrum3D Sodar is different to most Sodar devices available on the market. The main features are listed below:

  • Specifically designed for use in complex terrain.
  • Accurate and highly validated by independent consultants.
  • Fixed beam angles for greater consistency between sites.
  • Full raw data capture allows historic data to be reprocessed with updated firmware.
  • Fully integrated power supply and communications included in price.
how accurate is the Fulcrum3D Sodar compared to a met mast?

The Fulcrum3D Sodar has been verified against a number of tall met masts over a range of site conditions internally and by independent consultants. The Fulcrum3D Sodar is consistently within 1% of the adjacent met mast in both simple and complex terrain. Consultants such as DNV GL, Ecofys, Deutsche Windguard, Barlovento, Parsons Brinkerhoff, Entura and others have analysed the system performance and consistently agree that the unit is comparable to met mast data.

what performance guarantee does Fulcrum3D provide?

Fulcrum3D provides a Sodar performance guarantee. Each unit must meet key performance indicators when compared to an adjacent tall met mast. This includes wind speed correlation coefficients, wind speed accuracy, data availability and others. Contact our sales team to find out more.

what is the Fulcrum3D Sodar Warranty?

A 12 months manufactures defect warranty is included as standard. An additional 12 months can be ordered at additional cost when a unit is purchased.

Fulcrum3D Sodar track record

The unit has been used in a variety of deployments over four continents ranging from two week verifications to multiyear campaigns. These have covered both simple and complex terrain, operations between -10 – 500C and in both dessert and tropical locations.

what optional extras are available?

The Fulcrum3D Sodar comes in multiple options to suit your application:

  • Standard Fulcrum3D with solar power supply for warm and low snow/ice conditions
  • Cold Climate Fulcrum3D with solar power supply for snow/ice
  • Cold Climate Fulcrum3D with solar and 45W fuel cell power supply for snow/ice and low light
  • Cold Climate Fulcrum3D with solar and 110W fuel cell power supply for snow/ice and low light
  • Additional meteorological sensors such as pyranometers, pressure etc. also available
how do you install an Fulcrum3D Sodar?

The Fulcrum3D Sodar is designed for quick and easy deployment. The unit is generally trailer mounted and can be towed on a standard vehicle to the location of interest. Once unhitched from the vehicle, the unit should be oriented north (southern hemisphere) or south (northern hemisphere), levelled, solar panels attached and unit switched on. The unit connects to Fulcrum3D servers automatically to transfer data. Typically, installation is complete 30 – 60 minutes.

how do you access data from your Fulcrum3D Sodar?

Access to our online portal, Flightdeck, is included in your annual data access fee and allows data to be downloaded and information about your Sodar unit and location including mapping, deployment history etc to be viewed. Visit Flightdeck for a tour (Firefox or Chrome).

how do you communicate with the Fulcrum3D Sodar?

The Fulcrum3D Sodar is equipped with remote communications which transfers wind and other data to the Fulcrum3D servers via the cellular network. This is generally preconfigured when the unit is supplied.

When on site installing the unit, Flightdeck Onboard can be used to view real time met data, check mobile/cell reception strength, current logger time etc. with a laptop computer.

can users customise the Fulcrum3D Sodar setup?

The Fulcrum3D Sodar is designed to allow the user to define over 20 measurement heights of interest. This is particularly useful when you are monitoring to match particular heights such as a hub height, blade tip, anemometer etc. Not all Sodar devices on the market have this feature.

Operation sound frequency can also be customised by unit which can be useful for when side by side operation is required, such as during power performance testing.

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