Wind Energy


Fog and visibility sensors for wind turbines

Biral supply weather sensors to the wind energy industry to:



Please select from the links above or scroll down this page

Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice when selecting and installing your sensor.


Visibility Sensors

Do you need to automatically switch warning lights or foghorns in poor visibility?

Intelligently adjust warning light intensities relative to the current visibility?

The Biral VPF and SWS visibility sensors are used to automatically switch / adjust warning systems such as lights and foghorns on and off ONLY when necessary, ie whenever fog, rain, smoke or dust lowers the visibility to a user definable level.

They are also used to adjust warning light intensities to minimise light pollution for nearby residents.

The sensor can be located at the base or on the top of the turbine or even a short distance from it. Due to the superior forward scatter measurement concept used, it is far easier to site and not prone to installation or reflection errors competitive sensors experience.

On smaller wind farms you can use a single sensor but on larger farms it may be necessary to have a sensor on one or more corners of the wind farm.

Both the VPF-710 (top left) and the SWS-200 (bottom left) are suitable for wind turbine use.

The VPF-710 is recommended for coastal / marine installations as the hard anodized, salt-dip brazed, aluminium construction of the VPF range will not suffer from corrosion.

For further information when deciding which range to use please see our VPF / SWS comparison pdf or contact us.

To see a demonstration of the SWS 200 on a turbine please play the video. This shows the light intensities being automatically adjusted relative to the local visibility conditions both at day and night.

Precipitation Sensors

Adjusting the turbines during periods of freezing rain or snow

The Thies Clima low cost precipitation monitor (model 5.4103.10.x00) detects the beginning and end of precipitation as well as the duration.

The precipitation monitor can be used for status reporting or to transmit control signals to allow you to adjust the turbines accordingly during periods of freezing rain or snow as the build up on the turbines can affect the wind flow over the blades reducing efficiency or increasing the stress on the mechanical design. This sensor is currently in use by turbine manufacturers to stop operation of the turbine in dangerous conditions such as ice or snow accumulation on the rotor blades.

Wind Sensors to monitor site conditions

Measuring site wind conditions using RISO and DEWI approved and calibrated mechanical cup and vane sensors.

For traditional mechanical cup wind speed measurements we have equipment to use when siting masts for wind farms. We have, for example, two certifiable sensors: the Thies Clima Compact anemometers which can be MEASNET certified as required and the Thies Clima First Class anemometers that are MEASNET / DEWI / RISO certified.

The First Class sensors are the highest specification mechanical wind sensors available and will provide excellent response times and accuracy. The starting speed and overspeeding issues typically associated with mechanical systems are dealt with as best possible in the design and ensure measurements are highly accurate true reflections of the wind conditions at the site.

For details of each model please select the link(s) below.

Wind Sensors for turbine blade adjustment

Adjusting the alignment and pitch of the turbine blades relative to the wind conditions

To measure the wind flow over the turbine nacelle we recommend the Metek USA-2 Wind Horizon 200.

The Wind Horizon 200 2-axis ultrasonic anemometer is the sensor of choice for measuring the ambient flow shifts on the actual wind turbines. The sensor is designed to withstand very high levels of shock and vibration and has a very efficient heater to ensure proper operation in all weather conditions. The digital signal can be fed into standard control systems for alignment of the blades to ensure optimum yield of the wind turbine power generation.

To adjust the pitch of the turbine blades we recommend the Metek USA-1 Wind Professional 200.

Modern turbine manufacturers are starting to look at adjusting the pitch of the blades to better deal with turbulence as it reaches the turbine structure. The use of the 3-axis Wind Professional 200 ultrasonic anemometer allows the user to understand the three dimensional wind on the turbine and monitor both wind direction and turbulence ensuring that the turbine is always running at optimum. The construction is designed to withstand the harsh conditions on the turbines.

SODAR Wind Profiler for site evaluation

Evaluating a potential wind farm site

SODARs are the instruments of choice for consultants of wind farm siting research, as they provide an excellent value for money capability. They do not require any structural masts or permanent fixings to measure and can be easily set-up by one person within 30 minutes. SODARs provide three dimensional wind profiles of the lower atmosphere and can show the all important effects that turbulence structures will have on the blades of turbines, as well as aiding in establishing the power curve output for different sites. The SODAR technology has come a long way and can now be calibrated for wind farm usage. SODARs have been given the first approvals from industry standards organisations such as RISO.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your application requirements