Second Wind Gets a Second Wind

12/18/07Follow @wroush

You can’t see the wind, but you can measure it. And if you’re thinking about building a wind farm, you’d better do a whole lot of measuring first, to make sure the location you have in mind has the right conditions. That’s where Second Wind of Somerville, MA, comes in: the company makes measuring and data logging equipment for the wind-power industry, including a portable sonic wind profiler or “sodar” that uses sound waves to measure atmospheric turbulence. Today Second Wind announced that it has received $4 million in second-round financing from renewable energy investor Good Energies.

Second Wind’s Triton Sonic Wind ProfilerThe company’s six-foot-tall Triton sodar device—which has more than a passing resemblance to the Aqua Teen Hunger Force character Shake, as the company itself points out in its blog—contains a six-speaker array that sends a barely-audible chirp up to 200 meters into the sky and infers wind speed from measurements of the reflected sound waves. The device, which is solar- and battery-powered and sends back data via satellite, can be left unattended in almost any field location. Triton costs $30,000 to $40,000, but that’s far cheaper than the alternative—erecting a 200-meter meteorological mast.

“This second round of financing will support us in continuing our launch and rollout of our Triton sonic wind profiler,” said Walter Sass, president of Second Wind, in a statement about the investment. The company was founded in 1980 and has 30 employees. “The investment from Good Energies will help us accelerate our company’s growth in the years ahead and continue to develop groundbreaking products,” Sass said.

“Second Wind’s technology innovation is exactly what helps fulfill Good Energies’ goal of bringing renewable energy to everyone,” added Jean-Louis Brenninkmeyer, a managing director of Good Energies, which has offices in New York, Washington D.C., Canada, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom and oversees a $7 billion portfolio of energy-related companies. “Second Wind’s mission to advance the use of wind data to make wind energy profitable is a perfect fit with our own goal of contributing to the transition to a low carbon, clean energy economy globally.”

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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