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ENGIE Laborelec recently became accredited for wind turbine power performance measurements according to IEC61400-12-1. The company’s expertise is based on valuable experience gained over many LiDAR measurement campaigns, on both onshore and offshore wind turbines.

January 2024

Power performance measurements (PPM) are vital for wind farm operators who need to verify whether their wind turbines achieve the performance warranted by the manufacturer. The IEC61400-12-1 standard provides the methodology to carry out such PPMs.

Today, it is focussed on applications for onshore wind turbines using met masts equipped with such items as anemometers, wind vanes, and temperature sensors. To complement their experience with LiDARs, ENGIE Laborelec more recently also acquired extensive experience with these masts, leading to their official accreditation to carry out PPMs, following a BELAC audit in 2022.

An extension in the pipeline

The current IEC61400-12-1 standard alone does not cover the full spectrum of PPMs needed in the industry. For example, ENGIE Laborelec offers a PPM method using a smaller (and thus less expensive) met mast complemented by a ground-based LiDAR. This method is suitable for onshore wind turbines installed on non-complex terrain. For offshore wind turbines, however, a completely different method relying on nacelle-based LiDARs is needed. Recently, the IEC61400-50-3 standard was released which addresses the use of nacelle-based LiDARs for PPMs. ENGIE Laborelec aims to add this extension to their portfolio.

Valuable experience with nacelle-based LiDAR measurements

Meanwhile, ENGIE Laborelec has been gaining valuable experience with nacelle-based LiDAR measurements on several offshore wind turbines, among others, at the Rentel wind farm off the Belgian coast, notably through the RAINBOW project co-funded by Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The ENGIE Laborelec measurement campaigns and related analyses focus on the possibility of detecting blade erosion through a detailed PPM. It also allows the operator to verify the power curves and annual energy production and hence make comparisons with the warranted performance.

Becoming an international reference

ENGIE Laborelec aims to further develop its expertise in this area. Expert Antoine Vergaerde outlines the ambition: “We’re determined to use our LiDAR experience and become an international reference in power performance measurement and analyses for the relentlessly growing offshore wind market.”

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