Improving wind energy predictions with radar data

Electricity grids require constant load balancing between consumption and production. In this game, wind farms are at the mercy of the winds. They suffer from poor predictability of wind power production in their trading. When production falls short, the adjusting power – usually fossile or hydro – comes at a high price. In the reverse scenario, selling excess production usually means reduced margins.

The answer is improved prediction of wind conditions. The answer is improved prediction of wind conditions. Wind generation varies as a function of wind speed, and as the power curve is in the third order power, even very small changes in wind speed affect the power generation. Using accurate wind speed data from weather radars improves the predictions considerably. Short-term forecasting (next 72 hours) is the most relevant in power system management.

Restrictions in radar technology have meant that wind speeds in their full range have not been measurable – and therefore not used as input data in wind predictions. Eigenor WnD solves the issue and generates accurate speed distribution analysis. Using radars with Eigenor WnD software is a ground-breaking enhancement in wind forecasting, particularly in off-shore power generation.

Key applications

  • very short-term (seconds to a few minutes) for active turbine control
  • short-term (some hours to 72 hours) for energy trading
  • longer time scales (4-7 days ahead) to plan maintenance
  • Key benefits for wind farms
  • Accurate estimates of short-term energy production
  • Less excess production – higher margins
  • Less adjusting power – lower costs
  • Reduced CO emissions as other energy sources do not need to be kept in a 'ready-to-go' mode
  • Increased total output with rapid response to changing wind speeds