Windlab Utilizing Vaisala’s Triton Remote Sensing Equipment in South African Site Selection


Vaisala, global leader in environmental and industrial measurement, has announced that wind energy developer, Windlab, is using the Vaisala Triton Sonic Wind Profiler, a ground based remote sensing system, to assist with ongoing and critical site selection work in Africa.

With the continent registering a boom in renewable energy deployment in a number of countries, and South Africa in particular working to reduce its dependence on coal fired power plants, developers must quickly and efficiently make key site selection decisions for development.

The Vaisala Triton can be used either in locations where meteorological masts might be inappropriate or difficult to install, or used in conjunction with these masts to identify site suitability issues and gain a more detailed assessment of a project’s resource potential. Tritons are also able to operate autonomously, powered in most cases by on-board solar panels, enabling them to be used in remote areas with no access to the power grid.

These capabilities allow Vaisala to better assist developers and investors in unlocking growth in emerging markets, and gain improved perspectives on project risk.

Having previous experience using the Vaisala Triton in its global operations, Windlab clearly understood the strategic advantage of deploying them in a market like South Africa. Several potential sites were initially identified in the region through early stage wind modeling. However, in order to finalize development and investment decisions, it was necessary to characterize the wind profile of these sites in more detail, gather wind measurement data over large distances, and monitor multiple locations simultaneously. For this the Tritons were invaluable.

“Our Triton equipment has proven time and again to have the versatility needed for emerging markets,” said Lee Alnes, Key Account Manager at Vaisala. “Working with Windlab in South Africa to assist the firm in reaching its development targets, we’ve demonstrated that Tritons offer an efficient way to open up new clean energy markets.”

Shane Quinnell, Project Engineer, Windlab, added, “The Vaisala Triton was instrumental in streamlining our site selection process, quickly enabling us to select the best and highest performing project sites in South Africa.”

“By placing the Tritons we own in strategic locations at each prospective site, we gained a strong understanding of potential site performance, while eliminating the cost and consenting challenges typically associated with meteorological masts,” he said.

“As a direct result, and coupled with the fact that we can deploy the equipment in rugged and remote locations, we intend to continue using Vaisala Tritons and technical support in the future.”

— Source: Vaisala