What is an anemometer and why is it important?

What is an anemometer and why is it important?

what is an anemometer

What is an anemometer and why is it so important for the wind energy industry? According to Merriam-Webster, an anemometer is “an instrument for measuring and indicating the force or speed and sometimes direction of the wind”. For wind turbines in particular, it is absolutely imperative to have an accurate measurement of the wind speed and direction in order to have safe, reliable production. The wind turbine must move into the right direction of the wind in order to spin and produce electricity, while also keeping track of wind speeds to maintain a safe rpm. As a result, many wind turbine owners and manufacturers will choose an anemometer that has an error rate of less than 5% to make sure their turbines are running at an optimal level as much as possible.
There are two type of anemometers used in today’s market, the ultrasonic versions and mechanical ones.
Ultrasonic anemometers use transducers to send pulses of ultrasonic sound from one part of the sensor to another. In this way it calculates the wind speed using a microprocessor by determining the amount of time it takes for the sound to travel. There are no moving parts to this anemometer, and so the results of the measurements are almost immediate and very accurate.
Alternatively, mechanical anemometers rely on moving parts in order to measure the wind direction and speed (like small cups and a vane).
Although measurements from both are comparable when averaged over time, the mechanical anemometers typically take a little more time to register changes in wind direction and speed, like gusts. This is simply due to the limitations of moving parts which must physically start and stop and rotate etc. Additionally, some weather conditions like freezing rain or snow can present problems with the moving parts of a mechanical anemometer, which result in failure or inaccuracies.
The benefits of using an ultrasonic anemometer are that they require little to no maintenance and have a long life, due to no moving parts. Of course, these benefits come at a higher price tag, which is why some wind turbine manufacturers and owners continue to use the mechanical versions.
So, what type of anemometer does Orenda use, you ask? We opt for the ultrasonic for more accurate measurements to ensure the safest, most reliable and optimal energy production.

Posted By Sally on November 28, 2013 | 0 Comment

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