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The Cup Anemometer, a Fundamental Meteorological Instrument for the Wind Energy Industry
Published: 02 June 2014 by MDPI in International Electronic Conference on Sensors and Applications session Physical Sensors
Abstract: The cup anemometer has been used widely by the wind energy industry since its early beginning, covering two fundamental aspects: wind mill performance control and wind energy production forecast. Furthermore, despite modern technological advances such as LIDAR and SODAR, this cup anemometer remains clearly the most used instrument by the wind energy industry. Together with the major advantages of this instrument (precision, robustness), some issues must be taken into account by scientists and researchers when using it. Overspeeding, interaction with stream wakes due to allocation on masts and wind-mills, loss of performance due to wear and tear, change of performance due to different climatic conditions, checking of the maintenance status and recalibration, etc. On the other hand, although it seems that the cup anemometer has reached an optimal standardized configuration of three conical cups, some improvement could be done analyzing the rotor aerodynamics. In the present work a review of the research campaigns carried out at the IDR/UPM Institute to analyze cup anemometer performance is included. Several aspects of this instrument are examined: the calibration process and its possible effect on wind-mill Annual Energy Production (AEP), the loss of performances due to aging and wear and tear, the effect of changes of air density, the rotor aerodynamics, and the harmonic terms contained in the anemometer output signal and their possible relation to the anemometer performances.
Keywords: cup anemometer, AEP, rotor dynamics, calibration, anemometer performance