Wind energy data is collected and analyzed to determine the wind resources of a given site. This involves erecting a meteorological tower with anemometers, wind vanes, a data logger, and a device to transmit the collected information, such as a cellular modem. A standard tower is 198 feet, and instruments are typically placed at various heights at a designated orientation.
Meteorological tower installation and maintenance is not an easy task- technicians must work under extreme conditions and stay mentally sharp. Jason Vidas, owner of Pioneer WindWorks seeks employees who are physically fit, able to work in all weather conditions, and stay mentally strong during long, physical days. Attention to detail is essential, as instruments need to be placed and documented with high accuracy to ensure quality data. A background in engineering, computer and math skills, and technical abilities are desirable.
The data collected from meteorological towers is the foundation for the energy and financial analysis of the potential wind farm. As the industry advances, so does the necessity to gather accurate information.
“I’ve definitely seen standards improve dramatically, both on towers that we have put up and towers that other companies have put up,” says Vidas. “The field is maturing and that is part of the maturing process.”
Attention to detail, accurate documentation, and high quality equipment are the end result of this trend. “For a long time, most met towers used sensors from one company,” says Vidas. “In the last year, people have been using much more expensive equipment. They are realizing that meteorological towers are really important for proving a resource and for getting financing for a project. Along with that comes more willingness to spend money on equipment and ensure a high level of professionalism.”
Photo Credit: Kiril Lozanov of EcoEnergy LLC (Jason Vidas in upper photo)
Sarah Lozanova is passionate about the new green economy and is a regular contributor to environmental and energy publications and websites, including Energy International Quarterly, ThinkGreen.com, Triple Pundit, Green Business Quarterly, Renewable Energy World, and Green Business Quarterly. Her experience includes work with small-scale solar energy installations and utility-scale wind farms. She earned an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School and is a co-founder of Trees Across the Miles, an urban reforestation initiative.