A new wind turbine coming out of Denmark will be able to “see” the wind and make adjustments that optimize power production.
This post from TreeHugger.com says Denmark’s Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy has successfully tested the world’s first wind turbine that uses a built-in anemometer to adjust itself to the oncoming wind:
The system works by using a laser (“wind LIDAR”) to essentially see the wind before it reaches the turbine blades and adjust to what the conditions are going to be a moment later. By doing so electricity production can be increased by 5%, translating into increased revenue of DKr 200,000 ($39,000) per year for a 4 MW turbine.
The article goes on to say that the LIDAR system makes turbine blades more reliable by better coping with the wind’s irregularities.