Coherent Doppler lidar measurements are of increasing interest for the wind energy industry. Wind measurements are fundamental inputs for the evaluation of potential energy yield and performance of wind farms. Three-dimensional scanning Doppler lidar may provide a new basis for wind farm site selection, design and optimization. In this paper, the authors discuss Doppler lidar measurements obtained for a wind energy development. The possibility of using lidar measurements to more fully characterize the wind field is discussed, specifically terrain effects, spatial variation of winds, power density and the effect of shear at different layers within the rotor swept area. Vector retrieval methods have been applied to the lidar data, and results are presented on an elevated terrain-following surface at hub height. The vector retrieval estimates are compared with tower measurements, after interpolation to the appropriate level. Doppler lidar data are used to estimate the spatial power density at hub height (for the period of the deployment). An example wind farm layout is presented for demonstration purposes based purely on lidar measurement, even though the lidar data acquisition period cannot be considered climatological. The strength of this approach is the ability to directly measure spatial variations of the wind field over the wind farm. Also, because Doppler lidar can measure winds at different vertical levels, an approach for estimating wind power density over the rotor swept area (rather than only the hub height) is explored. Finally, advanced vector retrieval algorithms have been applied to better characterize local wind variations and shear. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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