Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lawrence Livermore ramps up wind energy research

15.12.2011
As the percentage of wind energy contributing to the power grid continues to increase, the variable nature of wind can make it difficult to keep the generation and the load balanced.

But recent work by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in conjunction with AWS Truepower, may help this balance through a project that alerts control room operators of wind conditions and energy forecasts so they can make well-informed scheduling decisions. This is especially important during extreme events, such as ramps, when there is a sharp increase or decrease in the wind speed over a short period of time, which leads to a large rise or fall in the amount of power generated.

"We're trying to forecast wind energy at any given time," said Chandrika Kamath, the LLNL lead on the project. "One of our goals is to help the people in the control room at the utilities determine when ramp events may occur and how that will affect the power generation from a particular wind farm."

The project, dubbed WindSENSE, is funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

To understand ramp events better, Kamath used data-mining techniques to determine if weather conditions in wind farm regions can be effective indicators of days when ramp events are likely to occur. She used wind energy and weather data from two regions -- the Tehachapi Pass in Southern California and the Columbia Basin region on the Oregon-Washington border.

"Our work identified important weather variables associated with ramp events," Kamath said. "This information could be used by the schedulers to reduce the number of data streams they need to monitor when they schedule wind energy on the power grid."

With wind farms predicted to provide more energy for the grid, Kamath said it is necessary to get the wind speed predictions on target.

Wind farms in the Tehachapi Pass currently produce 700 megawatts (MW) of power, but soon will be producing 3,000 MW. In the Columbia Basin, the farms were producing 700 MW of power in 2007, but by 2009, they were producing 3,000 MW. So it is important that the wind forecasts are accurate, especially during ramp events, when the energy can change by over 1,000 MW in an hour.

"The observation targeting research conducted as part of the WindSENSE project resulted in the development and testing of algorithms to provide guidance on where to gather data to improve wind forecast performance," said John Zack, director of forecasting of AWS Truepower. "These new software tools have the potential to help forecast providers and users make informed decisions and maximize their weather sensor deployment investment."

The wind generation forecasts used by utilities are based on computer simulations, driven by observations assimilated into the time progression of the simulation. Observations of certain variables at certain locations have more value than others in reducing the forecast errors in the extreme events, the location of the event and the look-ahead period.

Part of the WindSENSE effort was to identify the locations and the types of sensors that can most improve short-term and extreme-event forecasts. The team used an Ensemble Sensitivity Analysis approach to identify these locations and variables.

"We're trying to reduce the barriers to integrating wind energy on the grid by analyzing historical data and identifying the new data we should collect so we can improve the decision making by the control room operators, " Chandrika said. "Our work is leading to a better understanding of the characteristics and the predictability of the variability associated with wind generation resources."

More Information
"In the wake of the wind," LLNL news release, April 26, 2011.
"Wind and the grid," Science and Technology Review, March 2009.
"Extracting more power from the wind," Science and Technology Review, April/May 2010.

"LLNL signs agreement with Siemens to improve wind energy efficiency," LLNL news release, Feb. 24, 2009.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Anne Stark | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.llnl.gov

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion
24.07.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot
21.07.2017 | Stanford University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>