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Floating lidars put to the test

Flidar, Axys and Eolos devices take next stage in Carbon Trust programme

Floating lidars put to the test image

The Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator programme is carrying out the largest ever trial of floating lidar technology.

Up to five devices will be will be trialled at offshore wind farm sites later this year.

Canadian firm Axys will test its WindSentinel device at ScottishPower Renewables' proposed East Anglia wind farm and Spain's Eolos will trial its buoy at RWE's Ijmuiden site off the Netherlands.

Two more manufacturers will be invited to trial their devices later this year at either Ijmuiden or East Anglia.

The trials are being jointly funded by OWA and the manufacturers.

They aim to test the devices' accuracy in comparison with traditional met masts, which have already been installed at both Ijmuiden and East Anglia, as well as their robustness and safety in open water.

OWA project manager Megan Smith said trials are aimed at achieving the "pre-commercial" stage as set out in the organisation’s 2013 road map for lidars.

She said: "Floating lidars could really take hold because you can deploy them for around a tenth of the price of a met mast and you can move them around the site.”

There will remain a role for traditional met masts, she added. "Instead of having four met masts on a site you (could) have just one backed up by a group of floating lidars."

Image: a Belgian Flidar unit being tested for Mainstream at the Narec wind farm site off UK (Mainstream)

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