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Accurate Wind Simulation to Facilitate Grid Connection

With efforts to increase renewable energy output and percentage in nationwide supply, unforeseen problems are uncovered simultaneously. In the industry, it is a constant push and pull between a surge of development and fixing the by-product issue that emerges; and such is the case in wind energy production at the moment.

Compared to traditional nuclear energy production, wind can be very hard to predict. This complicates the process of connecting any active wind farm to a power grid, which is a prerequisite for the energy to be then transferred to households, workplaces and production sites alike. To be able to respond to potential wind loads more accurately, producers need to simulate the energy production for a certain amount of time. Based on this, power grid controllers can tell what the maximum load is, and prepare accordingly.

Such a simulation model has been developed on the basis of reanalysis of existing data and meteorological movement, but it isn’t always enough to see e.g. topology around individual wind farms. Thus it often leads to miscalculations, and even faulted studies have been published with it as a basis. This has prompted researchers to develop a new system, Virtual Wind Farm Model (VWF), to assume wind load in advance; it corrected the previously collected data to reflect the actual numbers, collected new data from network operators and managed to simulate European wind power production for a 20-year period. The new simulation showcased how the old one had overestimated some areas by 50% while underestimating others by 30%, and allowed for capacity factors to be recalculated.

The development is even more significant when put into international context: national grids can now interconnect, meaning that when one country is experiencing an under-supply, another country with excessive production can compensate for it. The data can be accessed through an application specifically developed to support VWF, and it is already used by over 50 organisations.