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Wind Speed Accuracy & Anemometers for Cranes

One of the key considerations when assessing the quality of wind speed sensor is the accuracy of the anemometer. If workforce safety is of crucial importance to your day-to-day work, it’s important to know that wind measurement will give you the accurate and reliable data you need to make critical decisions.

Anemometers measure wind speed, and the three-cup anemometer is currently the most popular configuration. You can see more on how to measure wind speed here. Three-cup anemometers offer a combination of constant torque, fast response, ruggedness and accuracy, making them a reliable tool.

Wind Forecast VS Wind Measurement?

Before shortlisting devices, it’s important to make sure its accuracy is suitable for the application at hand. Wind speed itself is not always the main concern in measurement, but rather the forces it can generate.

  • Wind forces are proportional to speed squared. If the wind becomes twice as fast, drag forces are multiplied by four. Wind loads are a very important consideration in structural design for example.
  • The power extracted by a wind turbine is proportional to speed cubed. In this case, the effect is even more drastic, since a wind turbine extracts eight times as much energy if the wind becomes twice a fast.

Wind Speed Sensor and ubolt.png

Any errors in wind speed measurement are amplified to the power of 2 or 3. This is dependent on the application, making accuracy very important.

If wind force is overestimated when designing a building, the structure can end up being much more expensive than necessary. In the case of wind turbines, overestimating the energy output can result in a much lower financial return than originally calculated.

Measuring The Accuracy Of a Cup Anemometer

Anemometer accuracy can vary greatly from device to device. Under normal conditions, a cup anemometer offers an accuracy ranging from 1% to 5%. But even lower values are possible with traceable specific calibrated instruments.

In general we recommend always using a 1-2% accuracy sensor. The reason is simple:

A small looking inaccuracy on a wind speed measurement is amplified 2 to 3 times when used on wind load force calculation. In other words, a 1% accuracy could become a 3% accuracy on calculations. A 5% accuracy could become a 15% deviation when using its data.

The Impact Of Accuracy On Real-Life Projects

Anemometer accuracy requirements for projects are in great part defined by the application. For example, the wind power industry tends to be the most demanding due to the drastic effect on wind speed over turbine output.

Overestimating wind speed by only 10% results in a 33% increase in the projected energy output. This makes the payback period appear shorter while the return on investment seems better.

The University of Leeds carried out a study of wind speed estimation errors for in the UK. They analysed 91 sites and determined that overestimation was common. They found that in 73 sites wind speed had been overestimated and it had only be underestimated in 18 sites. In addition, overestimation had a higher standard error of 23%, in contrast to only 10% on the sites where wind speed was underestimated.

How Accurate Is WINDCRANE?

The data sampling rate is 1Hz. This makes the unit compliant with the IEC 61400 standard for wind turbines, one of the most demanding in the industry.
Its accuracy is better than 0.00002% which can accurately deliver a 0.01m/s resolution.

WINDCRANE has been successfully deployed in various heavy duty applications like construction, transportation and aviation.

Do you need to measure and record wind speed? 

Windcrane has compiled various kits depending on your project application, visit:

You can read more about how our current customers use them here:

Windcrane in 27 seconds:




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WINDCRANE is Logic Energy Ltd Registered company SC323404
VAT GB 911 5572 39
PO Box 26237, Kilmarnock, KA1 9GE, Scotland, UK
Tel +44 (0) 141 585 6496
Fax +44(0) 141 585 6497

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