Power Curve Modeling in Complex Terrain Using Statistical Models

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Sonia Wharton1, Vera Bulaevskaya1, Andrew Clifton2, Grant Qualley3 and Wayne Miller1, (1)Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, United States, (2)National Renewable Energy Lab, Golden, CO, United States, (3)Pentalum, The Americas, Colleyville, TX, United States
Traditional power output curves typically model power only as a function of the wind speed at the turbine hub height. While the latter is an essential predictor of power output, wind speed information in other parts of the vertical profile, as well as additional atmospheric variables, are also important determinants of power. The goal of this work was to determine the gain in predictive ability afforded by adding wind speed information at other heights, as well as other atmospheric variables, to the power prediction model. Using data from a wind farm with a moderately complex terrain in the Altamont Pass region in California, we trained three statistical models, a neural network, a random forest and a Gaussian process model, to predict power output from various sets of aforementioned predictors. The comparison of these predictions to the observed power data revealed that considerable improvements in prediction accuracy can be achieved both through the addition of predictors other than the hub-height wind speed and the use of statistical models. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract DE-AC52-07NA27344 and was funded by Wind Uncertainty Quantification Laboratory Directed Research and Development Project at LLNL under project tracking code 12-ERD-069.