GVSU wind buoy returns to Lake Michigan for the third and final year

Date: April 8, 2013

Story originally published at mLive.com on April 05, 2013.


The Grand Valley State University wind buoy will be staying closer to home this season as the sophisticated wind instrumentation platform completes the last of its three-year mission.

In the next two weeks, Andrie Inc. crews will be moving the unique yellow buoy form the Muskegon Channel, where it has been stored this winter, according to GVSU Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center Arn Boezaart.

The research platform will be places 10 miles southwest of the Muskegon Channel in 200 feet of water in Lake Michigan. The third year location is about seven miles due west of the Nugent Sand property in Norton Shores, Boezaart said.

Where the AXYS Technology buoy built in British Columbia will be next year is anybody's guess. The U.S. Department of Energy funded testing of the "floating laser pulse technology" that measures wind speed and direction at various heights above the lake surface is over at the end of this season.

The GVSU-owned buoy will be removed in December to protect the research equipment from ice damage over the course of the winter, Boezaart said. The buoy can then be deployed to other locations on Lake Michigan or throughout the Great Lakes, but further research will depend upon partners providing the funding, he said.

"We have found that the laser technology we have been using has been superb," Boezaart said. "It has been very reliable."

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