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Wind Sensor Working In Service Of Solar Power

FT’s acoustic resonance wind sensors have a good reputation for their ability to withstand extreme cold, ice and other harsh climates. The patented sensor design has proven its reliability in the wind turbine industry however one FT wind sensor has headed to the sun and found its way to the Tabernas Desert in south-eastern Spain where it is installed in a sandstorm chamber.

The Institute of Solar Research, a department of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), is conducting durability tests of materials for the solar industry. To assess the degradation of components in desert sand storms dust laden air is blown through the storm chamber. Winds of up to 108 kph with 2.5g/m³ of dust are generated in the tunnel.

Whilst degradation of the components is expected, the FT sensor has to withstand the extreme force and still monitor the wind flow accurately and reliably. Over the past weeks the FT sensor has been doing just that and Florian Wiesinger, PhD student at the DLR, is happy with the result.

“The FT sensor is doing a great job. It doesn’t have any moving parts and we don’t have to worry about dust getting inside or the sensor giving wrong values after some time.”

The FT ultrasonic anemometers use resonating acoustic waves within a small purpose built cavity. This makes a very small and very strong sensor. FT sensors have passed over 28 certification tests including corrosion, sand and hail and are literally tested to the extreme.