Jay Haley /Partner / Mechanical Engineer / EAPC Wind Energy / www.eapc.net
The latest version of WindPRO, software for wind resource assessment and wind-farm design, has been released by EMD International A/S of Aalborg, Denmark. The new version includes powerful new tools to help wind-energy professionals model wind flow in complex terrain and analyze the power performance of operational wind farms. New features include seamless integration with WAsP CFD, a new Performance Check module, and new on-line, wind-data sources.
One of WindPRO’s strong points has always been its seamless integration with the Wind Atlas Analysis and Application Program (WAsP) – developed by DTU Wind Energy, the most widely used linear flow model for predicting wind speeds across wind farm sites. It is typically used for wind-farm design where maximum slopes encountered are less than 40% (22°). The WAsP model assumes laminar flow with no flow separation, a phenomena that develops at slopes of about 30% (17°). For complex terrain with steeper slopes, a non-linear model may be necessary such as WAsP CFD, which is a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) program that can capture higher-order effects.
WindPRO users can now perform complex CFD calculations without having to purchase additional CFD software or expensive computer clusters. Using their existing WindPRO and WAsP expertise, users simply submit the WindPRO/WAsP model to a computer cluster managed by EMD to perform the WAsP CFD calculations. Results return to the user online. The CFD calculations are paid for on a per unit basis.
Recent research by DTU Wind Energy has been to improve the numerical resolution required of the CFD model to reduce uncertainty. However, reducing uncertainties in a wind resource assessment to an acceptable level requires significant computational time on a standard PC. A typical PC, for example, would take three days to calculate a 2 x 2 km area. For the same high resolution from WAsP CFD, EMD’s computer cluster could complete the calculations in less than an hour.
Comparing the actual to expected energy output has become an important topic because more new wind farms seem unable to hit their predicted output. The complex and time consuming task of sorting out wind speeds, energy production values, and energy losses within the wind farm is made easier with the new Performance Check module.
The module analyzes the actual production of turbines along with entire wind farms. Its main purpose is to determine whether or not the turbines are producing as expected. With data gleaned after a period of operation, the module calculates a future production figure. In addition, the module is a unique tool for determining whether or not the predictive calculation models and its inputs are working properly. The tool works with 10-min SCADA data as well as hourly, daily, or monthly values.
On-line data sources
The latest version of the software has added new sources of on-line climatic data as well. The WindPRO on-line data interface now provides access to 11 different databases with global coverage. One of the newest additions is the high resolution, mesoscale dataset which covers all of Europe. The dataset is produced in-house by EMD in collaboration with ConWx, and has a spatial resolution of about 3 x 3 km. For a more complete list of improvements and features: www.tinyurl.com/windpro2-9 WPE
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