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How to measure the wind?

Watch Etienne Cheynet talk about the most common devices used nowadays to measure the properties of the wind.

To design wind turbines and wind farms, the wind speed and wind directions need to be measured on-site. This lecture summarizes the most common devices used nowadays to measure the wind.

These devices are the cup anemometer, the wind vane, the ultrasonic anemometer and the Doppler wind lidar instrument. Each technology has its set of advantages and drawbacks, which are briefly discussed herein. The lecture concludes with emerging atmospheric measurement techniques relying on unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the lecture, you should be able to:

  • List the advantages and drawbacks of devices dedicated to the study of the wind.
  • Explain the principle of operation of a Doppler wind lidar.


After having watched the video, you should reflect upon the following

  • In the planning phase of an offshore wind farm, which techniques for measuring the wind climate would you prefer?
  • What are the practical pros and cons in using the various techniques offshore?

Suggested literature

Was this interesting and you want to learn more? This is a book that takes you a few steps further. You need to have some technical insight in order to enjoy it, but it does not need to be from offshore wind energy:

Anderson, C. (2020). Wind turbines: Theory and practice. Cambridge University Press.

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Introduction to Offshore Wind Energy

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