The percentage share of renewable sources of energy and especially of wind power is steadily increasing. Minute-by-minute forecasts of the power supply to the energy grid are necessary in order to provide the level of reliability required by consumers. The ZSW has joined forces with the Chair for Wind Energy (SWE) at the University of Stuttgart for the ParkCast research project which involves studying models for the minute-by-minute prediction of the power output of a wind farm.
For this purpose, the scientists are collecting data at the alpha ventus offshore research wind farm in the German Bight off the North Sea coast in Lower Saxony. The aim is to predict the output of the 12 wind turbines there as accurately as possible in a period of up to 60 minutes. A laser measuring instrument called a lidar device is installed on the nacelle of one of the 5MW turbines in order to measure the wind speed at a distance of up to 10 kilometres. A local, high-resolution weather model, which tracks the state of the atmosphere at the site, can be used to calculate the flow to the wind farm and forecast the future power output.
The ParkCast initiative will see the research team following up the VORKAST project in which lidar equipment was used to measure the wind power of a single wind turbine in an approach referred to as nowcasting.