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Second Wind crunches data for wind turbines

Boston-area wind company gets $4 million in funding from Good Energies for sodar-based 'wind profiling' system.

Erecting wind turbines requires a lot more work than finding a site and bringing in cranes to install them.

Before construction, wind developers need to test the wind resource, which will have a significant bearing on how much power--and money--a turbine will produce.

Not a wood chipper, it's wind profiler. Second Wind

Second Wind is a small company that has carved out a niche in "wind profiling," or gathering data about wind resources.

The Somerville, Mass.-based company on Tuesday announced that it has raised $4 million in the second round of financing from Good Energies, a renewable energy investment company.

Earlier this year, Second Wind introduced its Triton Sonic Wind Profiler, a 6-foot-tall machine that can measure wind and other meteorological data up to 200 meters in the air.

The system uses sodar, which stands for sound detection and ranging. Like sonar used on ships, the Triton sends out chirps and measures the echo created by wind turbulence.

The company also has services for collecting data and presenting it in an understandable form on PCs. Second Wind is one of several companies applying hardware and software technology to clean tech.

Typically, to get the appropriate data for a wind project, developers need to set up a meteorological (met) tower for several months.

Those masts are limited in how high they can measure wind, according to Second Wind, and high-altitude winds are generally faster. The wind profiler can also operate regardless of weather and doesn't require someone to manually collect data, according to the company.