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 Generating needs-led electricity with biogas plants
17.10.2018 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht Ultra-light gloves let users 'touch' virtual objects
16.10.2018 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

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: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Robot-assisted sensor system for quality assurance of press-hardened components

17.10.2018 | Trade Fair News

Sensory Perception Is Not a One-Way Street

17.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility

17.10.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>