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Nashua;44.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/skc.png;2014-04-20 09:19:04
Sunday, March 3, 2013

UMaine in race to use lasers to measure offshore wind

Industrial-sized wind farms cost a friggin' fortune, so investors want to maximize the power they produce - which means knowing a lot about the winds that blow over different parts of the ocean before taking the monetary plunge.

Hence the rush to use LIDAR - basically, radar with lasers - to accurately measure wind. UMaine is among the teams working on the idea, as part of Maine's big push to be a wind-power hub.

The Bangor Daily News has a good story here. It notes one drawback to LIDAR:

The LIDAR system also consumes a significant amount of energy, according to Dagher. To power the system, a series of six small wind turbines and six solar panels will be attached to charge the battery. With these panels and small turbines, the buoy can operate unmanned in the ocean for 6 months to a year. The whole buoy system will weigh more than 5,000 pounds.