As we continue full beam ahead to make the Triton sonic wind profiler available by year's end, we're employing test units to verify and refine key features of the device. (We will be shipping our first "beta" - i.e. production units that are still in "debug" mode - in October.) Commercial availability should begin in late November.
|Matching the Met-Mast
Because our ultimate goal is for Triton sodar to replace meteorological masts, one of our top priorities is comparing Triton measurements to conventional anemometry. We're making these comparisons in several locations, most notably in Sweetwater, Texas. Chief scientist Niels LaWhite and new Research Scientist Liz Walls are playing a key role in communicating with the unit by remote control from Somerville. After making firmware adjustments, they are very close to perfectly matching the wind measurements from the adjacent met tower.
Is our rugged design claim all wet? Read more about the Sweetwater unit in our feature of the month.
|We're Beaming About Our Beams |
|A key to accurate measurement is carefully calibrating the three sonic beams for precise height measurement and consistent data collection with minimal side lobes. Beam height is relatively simple to verify, but we dedicated a day in Bridgewater, Mass. to ensure accurate height measurements.|
Triton, like teenagers, also likes to take trips to the shopping mall. We recently spent most of the night at the Gateway Center Shopping Plaza in Everett, Mass., where a wide open parking lot made an ideal site to test reception directionality. The easiest way for us to verify this was to hang a downward-facing speaker in the air, and move the Triton unit around underneath it. We could tell from looking at the data as we conducted the test that the beam directionality was correct in both transmitting and receiving modes. Through tests like these, we're working to minimize side lobes, which create potential echoes from objects on the ground that distort the accuracy of desired readings from above.
|Tinkering With Software in Vermont
|In the last issue, readers met Niels LaWhite, who's been traveling around with the Triton. Niels can't seem to get enough of his Triton unit at work, so he now has a prototype at his home in South Royalton, VT. The location is not a prospective wind site, but it's windy and remote enough for testing purposes. Having the unit on hand at home allows Niels to make programming changes and test them in real time, all while enjoying the New England countryside.
|GOING TO CANWEA? |
SEATS STILL AVAILABLE FOR TRITON SEMINAR!
Sunday, September 30
Hilton Quebec Hotel
Sainte-Foy/Portneuf meeting room
9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Three of our guys - Walter Sass, Louis Manfredi and Patrick Quinlan - will describe exciting new tools and capabilities available to meteorologists and wind project developers, and share technical and field test results. A demonstration of SkyServe Internet wind data delivery service also will be featured. To register for the seminar, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to stop by Second Wind's booth, # 301.
|IN THE NEWS . . .
After its star-turn on CNBC, Triton continues to make headlines! The September issue of Windtech International featured a technical article on Triton. Take an in-depth tour on this editorial penned by our very own Walter Sass! Click here to read the full article.
The Sweetwater Reporter got wind that Bob Ochoa was speaking at a West Texas Wind Consortium special event and ran a story on his presentation. Bob spoke on the benefits of Triton and let attendees know that the unit was already undergoing testing in the area. Community members were invited to come out and tour the Triton in their own backyard! Click here to view the full article.
Second Wind Earns Ranking on Inc. 5000
We were thrilled to be included in Inc. magazine's first-ever Inc. 5,000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. Second Wind's ranking was based on our 27% revenue growth from 2003-2006 and was the only business-to-business wind organization in the energy industry category.
This announcement not only garnered us local media coverage, but online placements were featured in Windtech International, North American Windpower, Wind Today and Alternative Energy News.
For more information, visit our website.
Big Rain? No Pain!
All-Weather Triton Stands Tall Through Texas Gully Washer
Sweetwater, Texas didn't exactly live up to its name in August after Tropical Storm Erin dropped nearly 10 inches of rain on the town in the Lone Star State.
Despite drenching downpours that lasted for hours, the Triton profiler's rugged plastic construction, drainage scuppers and sound-absorbing material helped the system withstand extremely wet and windy conditions without any maintenance, according to Bob Ochoa.
And what about Bob, whose company relocated to rain-weary Sweetwater last year? While the Triton handled the foul weather without any issues, he was more than happy to see Erin go.
|Thank you for your interest in Triton and stay tuned for future updates.
For more information, contact email@example.com
Second Wind, Inc.
|Q & A with
The Triton development process was smooth sailing for senior engineer Louis Manfredi, who helped steer the direction of the team and ensure it stayed on course. Once the unit comes to market, we hope Louis can find more time to pursue his personal wind passion - a 23-foot sailboat.
Q: What were the biggest surprises about the Triton development process?
A: We set out to build a sodar that was as good as the competition, but that could be
produced more economically. One surprise in the development process resulted from
the approach we took towards manufacturing engineering and not being afraid to
make custom mold parts. Once this decision was made, it opened up options to change
the basic architecture of the sodar. When designing the shape of the housing for the
unit, we chose a design to conform exactly to the shapes of the beams and found that a
hexagonal array of the speakers would give us many more benefits compared to the
previous rectangular design. The end result was a sodar device that would not only be
more economical, but one that would perform better.
I was also surprised by the degree to which the project has been an exercise in
material and manufacturing technology selection. Much of my time was spent testing
and working with vendors to have the sound absorbent material made, learning that
felt was the material we wanted to use, learning about water jet cutting to cut that felt,
designing custom plastic cones to make the Triton speakers waterproof and learning
about rotational molding for the housing parts.
Q: Can you describe your position at Second Wind?
A: I am the lead person for field and shop testing of the assembled Triton unit. Beyond
that, I've been involved with the overall product design during the last couple of
years, including defining geometry, selecting materials to use and the overall
architecture and geometric details of the unit. In terms of engineering testing, I've
been identifying test requirements, working with manufacturing to develop
quality control testing, writing diagnostic routines to prove that the system
is ready to operate and working on outdoor operational prototype testing.
Q: What is your education background?
A: I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of
Science in Ocean Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Q: How did you get into the wind industry?
A: Someone I feel very strongly about, and feel that the wind industry can't forget is William Heronemus, late professor at the University of Massachusetts. He was a great visionary of the modern wind industry in the United States. Like many other old-timers in the industry, I was an advisee of his in the Ocean Engineering program and had wanted to be a naval architect. But we were told we were going to build windmills instead!
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
Not only do I make a living working with the wind, but the hobby I am most
passionate about is sailing, and sailing requires wind! I love taking advantage
of free energy, whether sailing around the coast or to make electricity. I own a 23-foot
sloop, "Snow Goose" and have sailed her on Long Island Sound, Boston Harbor and
San Francisco Bay.