Performance of a wind-profiling LIDAR in the region of wind turbine rotor disks
To determine situations of suitable data return rates, we have deployed a Windcube LIDAR, co-located with a Vaisala CL31 ceilometer, as part of the Skywatch Observatory at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Aerosol backscatter, as measured by the ceilometer, and LIDAR signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) are strongly correlated. Additionally, we find that LIDAR SNR also depends weakly on atmospheric turbulence characteristics and atmospheric relative humidity. This relationship suggests an ability to predict LIDAR performance based on widely available air quality assessments (such as the EPA Air Quality Index), thus providing guidance for useful LIDAR deployments at wind farms to characterize turbine performance.
*Acknowledgments: Skywatch Observatory is funded through NSF grant 0837388.