bankable wind data - performance validation

Fulcrum3D has embarked on an extensive testing program to demonstrate the performance of the Fulcrum3D Sodar relative to wind monitoring masts. Side by side testing has been carried out next to traditional wind monitoring equipment on a variety of sites across Australia and Europe. More than 25 separate validations tests have been carried out to date, in simple and complex terrain, and with comparison masts of up to 140m in height.

Through this process Fulcrum3D learnt as much about the limitations of traditional anemometer-based wind monitoring as it learnt about the Fulcrum3D Sodar. For example, the Fulcrum3D Sodar unit measurements are superior to wind monitoring masts where:

  • wind flow distortion by the mast (i.e. mast shadow) affects the anemometry or wind vanes
  • wind flow is not purely horizontal, introducing anemometer cup errors
  • precipitation on or icing of anemometers or wind vanes has affected the data

Fulcrum3D has therefore adjusted its test regime to factor in these mast-related errors, including by identifying a flat-terrain monitoring site where wind speeds are consistently horizontal, and is filtering other erroneous data from the masts.

The subsequent results demonstrate the performance of the unit, including:

  • excellent results up to and in excess of 150m above ground level
  • excellent unit reliability (unit availability >99%)
  • high availability of high quality data over a broad measurement range
  • high correlation with adjacent anemometry and wind vanes (correlation coefficient greater then 0.98 which is excellent given the Sodar and mast are not in an identical location)

Validation assessment by DNV-GL

Fulcrum3D has been working with international wind energy experts DNV-GL to confirm the performance of the unit. The first part of this test regime includes assessment of in-field measurement adjacent to an 84.5m test tower in Victoria, Australia.

Garrad Hassan have now given their in principle support for the Fulcrum3D Sodar:

  • “These results show that the SODAR device is measuring wind speed to an acceptable degree of accuracy. The correlation between the wind speed measurements was found to be of sufficient quality with a coefficient of determination, R2 of 0.96. This R2 value shows that the SODAR is measuring wind speeds with acceptable precision compared to the mast and an acceptable level of scatter is seen in the correlation plots.”
  • “It has been concluded that this brief statistical analysis is indicative of an acceptable level of accuracy (a measurable bias) and precision (acceptable standard error) for the wind speed measured by the F3D SODAR and cup anemometers.”
  •  “The mast and SODAR wind shear profiles were found to be in broad agreement over the range of heights measured by the mast for the global, day and night profiles”

Further validation work is ongoing, and Fulcrum3D will release the results of its test program shortly.

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