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Pentalum Wins DOE / MNI Grant to develop and test an advanced commercial LIDAR-based system for wind sensing that is optimized for forecasting of wind and wind power in wind farms.


Pentalum Technologies, Rehovot, Israel and 3Tier, Seattle, WA, have been granted up to $800,000 under the 2011 Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program to develop and test an advanced commercial LIDAR-based system for wind sensing that is optimized for forecasting of wind and wind power in wind farms. 

Wind power is one of the most important sources of renewable energy, due to the fact that wind power generation is a mature, reliable and efficient technology that can be implemented in all parts of the world.

Wind, however, is an intermittent source of energy, and therefore presents a challenge in integrating its power into the electrical grid. Wind forecasting, hours up to days ahead of time, can help to reduce the negative effects wind variability might have on the grid, and therefore increase its value to the power utility and to the wind farm owners and operators.

In this project, 3TIER and Pentalum will join forces to develop an advanced commercial system for wind sensing that is optimized for forecasting of wind and wind power in wind farms. The system developed will be based on the technology owned by Pentalum for optical remote sensing of wind velocity, and on the vast knowledge and experience of 3TIER in atmospheric meteorology, wind assessment and forecasting for the wind industry.

The BIRD Foundation works to encourage cooperation between Israeli and American companies in the various areas of technology, and provides assistance in locating strategic partners from both countries for developing joint products. This grant, for a total project of $1.6 Million, was developed through the cooperative efforts of the Ministry of National Infrastructures of Israel and U.S. Department of Energy.

Pentalum is an Israeli based company, developing the SpiDAR®, a Lidar (Laser radar) system for remote sensing of wind in the atmosphere. Pentalums’ unique, patent pending technology allows to remotely measure the wind speed and wind direction in the atmosphere in an  accurate manner, up to a distance of several hundreds of meters away from the system.

The uniqueness of Pentalum’s technology is in its exploitation of technology and components used in unrelated fields, such as optics and telecom, to create innovative solutions in wind technology. Using common off the shelf components, together with a unique architectural structure and measurement methods patented by Pentalum, allows Pentalum to provide simultaneous, accurate and reliable measurements of wind speed, at a cost per site significantly lower than existing technologies and therefore opens new and exciting options for mass deployment of this system in newly built and existing wind farms, as well as near and on top of wind turbines. Applications for the SpiDAR include: resource assessment of new prospective wind farms, wind monitoring and power curve measurements in operating wind farms, yaw and pitch control and optimization of wind turbines, and wind forecasting for accurate prediction of potential production, hours up to days ahead of time.

3TIER is a US based private company and a global leader in renewable energy risk intelligence. 3TIER uses cutting-edge weather science to frame the risk of weather-driven variability - anywhere on earth, across all time horizons.

For over 10 years, 3TIER has distinguished itself as a global leader in renewable energy resource assessment and forecasting, providing critical products and services to developers, financiers, energy merchants, and operators around the world. 3TIER offers a full suite of utility-scale products and services that span the entire project lifecycle, from early stage site identification through in-depth site assessment and on-going operational forecasting.

3TIER is one of the world's largest and most successful independent forecasters of wind power production. The company forecasts more than 39,000 MW of installed wind generation capacity worldwide, including over 13,000 MW of project-specific production. 3TIER forecasts for the majority of the merchant, non-PPA wind projects in the US, which are most dependent on accurate forecasts. The company’s forecasting skill has enabled the company to achieve a 95% client retention rate.


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