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SgurrEnergy France

Galion Lidar measures turbulence in groundbreaking study

Published: April 18, 2013

International renewable energy consultancy, SgurrEnergy, part of Wood Group, has commenced the most comprehensive study of wind turbulence ever conducted in the industry using the unique versatility of its own wind scanning Lidar, Galion, and synchronised Lidar techniques.

SgurrEnergy is using its flagship wind measurement device, Galion Lidar, to carry out an inter-comparison study of all recognised methods for determining turbulence from Lidar measurements.

The methods being investigated include convergent scan geometries, sometimes referred to as “virtual mast”, “dual Doppler”, “multi-Lidar”, or “windscanner” techniques, conventional wind profiling scan geometries, staring mode, and 6-beam scan geometries proposed specifically for quantifying turbulence. Results of the study will be verified by measurements acquired by an industry standard meteorological mast and by other Galion Lidar devices.

“Turbulence measurements are critical for ensuring the appropriate model of wind turbine is selected for a wind farm site,” said Dr Peter Clive, technical development officer with SgurrEnergy. “Two key topics of interest in this study are the ability of Lidars to replicate the turbulence assessments conducted using met masts, and the ability of Lidars to provide us with more detailed and valuable information about turbulence than would be available to a simple met mast arrangement”.

This sophisticated study is unlike any previous research ever conducted in the industry and provides a comprehensive assessment of turbulence that goes far beyond simple turbulence intensity calculations, looking at turbulent phenomena in a more detailed and instructive way.

This novel research is being conducted at SgurrEnergy’s Carrot Moor test facility, based at Whitelee wind farm, which, due to its unique location and complex terrain, allows testing of wind sensing equipment in a realistic deployment setting.

“This study builds on the convergent scan geometry research which we first commenced with Galion in 2010,” continued Dr Clive. “The versatility of Galion allows us to compare every proposed Lidar method for measuring turbulence using a single kind of instrument, minimizing the uncertainty of the assessment. We are evaluating these methods to ensure we can advise our clients about the best approach to assessing turbulence  for any set of project requirements and any set of circumstances on site.”

Similar studies are currently being carried out by Indiana University at the world-renowned National Wind Technology Center in Boulder, Colorado.  The University are using a G4000 Galion Lidar to assess turbulence in highly complex conditions, including temperatures of -20°C.

The outcome of these ground-breaking studies will offer great insights into turbulent phenomena which will be used to address several key questions relating to the description of wind conditions and inform decisions on the selection of appropriate turbine technology for wind power projects.


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