Strategic invetsment in advanced wind sensing technology

Power and automation technology group, ABB made a strategic investment in Pentalum Technologies, an Israel-based company developing advanced wind-sensing technology for control and optimisation of wind turbines and wind farms, in late 2010.

Pentalum is developing an innovative LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology that remotely senses the wind vector in front of wind turbines in order to optimally align them to incoming wind flow. Pentalum’s system is also applicable to wind forecasting and site assessment, and is designed to significantly increase wind farm efficiency at a lower cost per site than existing measurement technologies.

The investment was made through ABB Technology Ventures, ABB’s venture capital arm, which invests in early and growth stage companies with technologies of strategic importance to the industry segments the company serves. Other participants in funding for Pentalum included Cedar Fund, Evergreen Venture Partners, and Draper Fischer.

“Cost and complexity issues are hampering the widespread adoption of optimization systems for wind power,” ABB technology ventures head, Girish Nadkarni said.

“We have invested in Pentalum because we believe their technical approach will significantly improve profitability for developers and operators of this important renewable energy source.

Pentalum president and CEO, Sagie Tsadka said ABB’s broad expertise and strong position with wind turbine manufacturers and wind farm developers and operators made for a strong partner.

“Our wind sensing technology can significantly improve the performance of wind turbines and wind farms, and ABB can be instrumental in helping us deliver this benefit to the marketplace through their extensive customer base,” Mr Tsadka said.