Renewables boost: Welcome Richard Loh

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6 December 2017

“My approach is to minimise uncertainties in wind energy yield analysis”.

Richard Loh has recently joined GHD’s Power team as a Senior Renewables Generation Engineer. He brings an understanding of next-generation wind monitoring systems and turbine technologies that dominate the wind sector. Richard also holds a PhD in Electronics.

According to Richard, one of the cornerstones of good site planning is reliable measurement of wind and accurate analysis of expected energy yields. “Wind turbines are complex systems. If you can’t monitor your resource what are basing your financial conditions on?” he says.

Richard began his career designing inverters and wind systems, and moved into turbine manufacturing before contributing to the development of 4 GW of wind farms in China.

“I have spent a lot of time consulting in pre-construction project stages because of the remote grid conditions in China. My work in wind remote sensing has seen the technology progress from traditional met mast approaches to useful replacement alternatives, resulting in new multi-height wind measurement strategies,” says Richard.

Wind monitoring technologies

New wind monitoring technologies like SODARs and LIDARs are gaining mainstream acceptance. These enable wind speeds to be measured up to 200 m above ground level, offering many more height levels than a traditional met mast. As hub heights get ever higher and rotor diameters ever larger for modern wind turbines, only such remote sensing equipment will be able to show what true wind speeds the turbines are likely to experience in operation.

“My approach is to minimise uncertainties in wind energy yield analysis. With increased portability of LIDAR and SODAR technologies, it is only a matter of time before remote sensing equipment will be permanent features of monitoring campaigns across all wind farm projects,” says Richard.

New heights

GHD is helping clients continue the expansion of renewable generation capacity. This requires drawing on multiple wind industry disciplines to reach new heights of understanding of project complexities across Australia. This is becoming more relevant considering that tier one wind sites have already been developed and proponents have started to look for lower wind speed sites. Projects at these sites typically utilise wind turbine technologies with higher hub-heights (well over 100 m) and long blade designs.

GHD has been involved globally in numerous wind farm projects at all stages of the project life-cycle including: Waterloo Wind Farm, Coopers Gap Wind Farm (Owner’s Engineer), Taralga Wind Farm, Badgingarra Wind Farm (Owner’s Engineer) and Hornsdale Wind Farm (Owner’s Engineer).

“Our role is to facilitate enabling actions so technical improvements can better balance drivers and increase wind projects bankability as we play our part in assisting Australia’s transition to renewables,” says Taraz Saba, GHD’s Project Director, Renewables.

 

Richard Loh

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