Environmental Laboratory

Measurements Matter in Wind Energy Production – DAQ systems for Wind Farms

Aug 19 2010

Author: Iain Thornton on behalf of Campbell Scientific

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Locating and exploiting new and ever greater sources of oil, gas and coal is increasingly difficult, as highlighted by the current problems in the Gulf of Mexico; the costs of extracting such fuels will inevitably continue to rise pushing prices to the consumer up. Importing energy can also make a country vulnerable – for example a dispute in 2009 between Russia and the Ukraine led to gas pipelines being turned off resulting in supply outages across Europe.

Pollution and rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, which many scientists believe to be a major contributing factor to global warming, will only get worse as fast paced development in countries like China lead to more
and more fossil fuel based power generation.

Nuclear energy offers a possible alternative but there are pros and cons involved which I won’t go into in here.

Harvesting the natural, renewable energy from the world around us, however, will allow us to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, lower our collective carbon footprint and become more energy self sufficient.

The EU has set a binding target that 20% of its energy supply be renewable by 2020 and to meet this target a third of all electricity generation must come from renewable sources by that time.

However, selecting suitable sites, choosing the most appropriate technology and systems, monitoring output and forecasting energy generation all require accurate measurements of meteorological parameters to be made.

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