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 Researchers take next step toward fusion energy
16.11.2017 | Texas A&M University

nachricht Desert solar to fuel centuries of air travel
16.11.2017 | SolarPACES

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: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>