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Title: An Error-Reduction Algorithm to Improve Lidar Turbulence Estimates for Wind Energy

Abstract

Currently, cup anemometers on meteorological (met) towers are used to measure wind speeds and turbulence intensity to make decisions about wind turbine class and site suitability. However, as modern turbine hub heights increase and wind energy expands to complex and remote sites, it becomes more difficult and costly to install met towers at potential sites. As a result, remote sensing devices (e.g., lidars) are now commonly used by wind farm managers and researchers to estimate the flow field at heights spanned by a turbine. While lidars can accurately estimate mean wind speeds and wind directions, there is still a large amount of uncertainty surrounding the measurement of turbulence with lidars. This uncertainty in lidar turbulence measurements is one of the key roadblocks that must be overcome in order to replace met towers with lidars for wind energy applications. In this talk, a model for reducing errors in lidar turbulence estimates is presented. Techniques for reducing errors from instrument noise, volume averaging, and variance contamination are combined in the model to produce a corrected value of the turbulence intensity (TI), a commonly used parameter in wind energy. In the next step of the model, machine learning techniques are used to furthermore » decrease the error in lidar TI estimates.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
NREL's Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program
OSTI Identifier:
1330445
Report Number(s):
NRL/PR-5000-67000
Journal ID: ISSN 2366--7451
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: Presented at the 18th Meeting of the Power Curve Working Group, 10 August 2016, Boulder, Colorado
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; lidar; turbulence; wind energy; light detection and ranging; NREL

Citation Formats

Newman, Jennifer F., and Clifton, Andrew. An Error-Reduction Algorithm to Improve Lidar Turbulence Estimates for Wind Energy. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.5194/wes-2-77-2017.
Newman, Jennifer F., & Clifton, Andrew. An Error-Reduction Algorithm to Improve Lidar Turbulence Estimates for Wind Energy. United States. doi:10.5194/wes-2-77-2017.
Newman, Jennifer F., and Clifton, Andrew. 2016. "An Error-Reduction Algorithm to Improve Lidar Turbulence Estimates for Wind Energy". United States. doi:10.5194/wes-2-77-2017. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1330445.
@article{osti_1330445,
title = {An Error-Reduction Algorithm to Improve Lidar Turbulence Estimates for Wind Energy},
author = {Newman, Jennifer F. and Clifton, Andrew},
abstractNote = {Currently, cup anemometers on meteorological (met) towers are used to measure wind speeds and turbulence intensity to make decisions about wind turbine class and site suitability. However, as modern turbine hub heights increase and wind energy expands to complex and remote sites, it becomes more difficult and costly to install met towers at potential sites. As a result, remote sensing devices (e.g., lidars) are now commonly used by wind farm managers and researchers to estimate the flow field at heights spanned by a turbine. While lidars can accurately estimate mean wind speeds and wind directions, there is still a large amount of uncertainty surrounding the measurement of turbulence with lidars. This uncertainty in lidar turbulence measurements is one of the key roadblocks that must be overcome in order to replace met towers with lidars for wind energy applications. In this talk, a model for reducing errors in lidar turbulence estimates is presented. Techniques for reducing errors from instrument noise, volume averaging, and variance contamination are combined in the model to produce a corrected value of the turbulence intensity (TI), a commonly used parameter in wind energy. In the next step of the model, machine learning techniques are used to further decrease the error in lidar TI estimates.},
doi = {10.5194/wes-2-77-2017},
journal = {},
number = 1,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

Conference:
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  • Remote-sensing devices such as lidars are currently being investigated as alternatives to cup anemometers on meteorological towers for the measurement of wind speed and direction. Although lidars can measure mean wind speeds at heights spanning an entire turbine rotor disk and can be easily moved from one location to another, they measure different values of turbulence than an instrument on a tower. Current methods for improving lidar turbulence estimates include the use of analytical turbulence models and expensive scanning lidars. While these methods provide accurate results in a research setting, they cannot be easily applied to smaller, vertically profiling lidarsmore » in locations where high-resolution sonic anemometer data are not available. Thus, there is clearly a need for a turbulence error reduction model that is simpler and more easily applicable to lidars that are used in the wind energy industry. In this work, a new turbulence error reduction algorithm for lidars is described. The Lidar Turbulence Error Reduction Algorithm, L-TERRA, can be applied using only data from a stand-alone vertically profiling lidar and requires minimal training with meteorological tower data. The basis of L-TERRA is a series of physics-based corrections that are applied to the lidar data to mitigate errors from instrument noise, volume averaging, and variance contamination. These corrections are applied in conjunction with a trained machine-learning model to improve turbulence estimates from a vertically profiling WINDCUBE v2 lidar. The lessons learned from creating the L-TERRA model for a WINDCUBE v2 lidar can also be applied to other lidar devices. L-TERRA was tested on data from two sites in the Southern Plains region of the United States. The physics-based corrections in L-TERRA brought regression line slopes much closer to 1 at both sites and significantly reduced the sensitivity of lidar turbulence errors to atmospheric stability. The accuracy of machine-learning methods in L-TERRA was highly dependent on the input variables and training dataset used, suggesting that machine learning may not be the best technique for reducing lidar turbulence intensity (TI) error. Future work will include the use of a lidar simulator to better understand how different factors affect lidar turbulence error and to determine how these errors can be reduced using information from a stand-alone lidar.« less
  • Remote-sensing devices such as lidars are currently being investigated as alternatives to cup anemometers on meteorological towers for the measurement of wind speed and direction. Although lidars can measure mean wind speeds at heights spanning an entire turbine rotor disk and can be easily moved from one location to another, they measure different values of turbulence than an instrument on a tower. Current methods for improving lidar turbulence estimates include the use of analytical turbulence models and expensive scanning lidars. While these methods provide accurate results in a research setting, they cannot be easily applied to smaller, vertically profiling lidarsmore » in locations where high-resolution sonic anemometer data are not available. Thus, there is clearly a need for a turbulence error reduction model that is simpler and more easily applicable to lidars that are used in the wind energy industry. In this work, a new turbulence error reduction algorithm for lidars is described. The Lidar Turbulence Error Reduction Algorithm, L-TERRA, can be applied using only data from a stand-alone vertically profiling lidar and requires minimal training with meteorological tower data. The basis of L-TERRA is a series of physics-based corrections that are applied to the lidar data to mitigate errors from instrument noise, volume averaging, and variance contamination. These corrections are applied in conjunction with a trained machine-learning model to improve turbulence estimates from a vertically profiling WINDCUBE v2 lidar. The lessons learned from creating the L-TERRA model for a WINDCUBE v2 lidar can also be applied to other lidar devices. L-TERRA was tested on data from two sites in the Southern Plains region of the United States. The physics-based corrections in L-TERRA brought regression line slopes much closer to 1 at both sites and significantly reduced the sensitivity of lidar turbulence errors to atmospheric stability. The accuracy of machine-learning methods in L-TERRA was highly dependent on the input variables and training dataset used, suggesting that machine learning may not be the best technique for reducing lidar turbulence intensity (TI) error. Future work will include the use of a lidar simulator to better understand how different factors affect lidar turbulence error and to determine how these errors can be reduced using information from a stand-alone lidar.« less
  • Remote sensing devices (e.g., lidars) are quickly becoming a cost-effective and reliable alternative to meteorological towers for wind energy applications. Although lidars can measure mean wind speeds accurately, these devices measure different values of turbulence intensity (TI) than an instrument on a tower. In response to these issues, a lidar TI error reduction model was recently developed for commercially available lidars. The TI error model first applies physics-based corrections to the lidar measurements, then uses machine-learning techniques to further reduce errors in lidar TI estimates. The model was tested at two sites in the Southern Plains where vertically profiling lidarsmore » were collocated with meteorological towers. Results indicate that the model works well under stable conditions but cannot fully mitigate the effects of variance contamination under unstable conditions. To understand how variance contamination affects lidar TI estimates, a new set of equations was derived in previous work to characterize the actual variance measured by a lidar. Terms in these equations were quantified using a lidar simulator and modeled wind field, and the new equations were then implemented into the TI error model.« less
  • Remote sensing devices (e.g., lidars) are quickly becoming a cost-effective and reliable alternative to meteorological towers for wind energy applications. Although lidars can measure mean wind speeds accurately, these devices measure different values of turbulence intensity (TI) than an instrument on a tower. In response to these issues, a lidar TI error reduction model was recently developed for commercially available lidars. The TI error model first applies physics-based corrections to the lidar measurements, then uses machine-learning techniques to further reduce errors in lidar TI estimates. The model was tested at two sites in the Southern Plains where vertically profiling lidarsmore » were collocated with meteorological towers. This presentation primarily focuses on the physics-based corrections, which include corrections for instrument noise, volume averaging, and variance contamination. As different factors affect TI under different stability conditions, the combination of physical corrections applied in L-TERRA changes depending on the atmospheric stability during each 10-minute time period. This stability-dependent version of L-TERRA performed well at both sites, reducing TI error and bringing lidar TI estimates closer to estimates from instruments on towers. However, there is still scatter evident in the lidar TI estimates, indicating that there are physics that are not being captured in the current version of L-TERRA. Two options are discussed for modeling the remainder of the TI error physics in L-TERRA: machine learning and lidar simulations. Lidar simulations appear to be a better approach, as they can help improve understanding of atmospheric effects on TI error and do not require a large training data set.« less
  • Currently, cup anemometers on meteorological towers are used to measure wind speeds and turbulence intensity to make decisions about wind turbine class and site suitability; however, as modern turbine hub heights increase and wind energy expands to complex and remote sites, it becomes more difficult and costly to install meteorological towers at potential sites. As a result, remote-sensing devices (e.g., lidars) are now commonly used by wind farm managers and researchers to estimate the flow field at heights spanned by a turbine. Although lidars can accurately estimate mean wind speeds and wind directions, there is still a large amount ofmore » uncertainty surrounding the measurement of turbulence using these devices. Errors in lidar turbulence estimates are caused by a variety of factors, including instrument noise, volume averaging, and variance contamination, in which the magnitude of these factors is highly dependent on measurement height and atmospheric stability. As turbulence has a large impact on wind power production, errors in turbulence measurements will translate into errors in wind power prediction. The impact of using lidars rather than cup anemometers for wind power prediction must be understood if lidars are to be considered a viable alternative to cup anemometers.In this poster, the sensitivity of power prediction error to typical lidar turbulence measurement errors is assessed. Turbulence estimates from a vertically profiling WINDCUBE v2 lidar are compared to high-resolution sonic anemometer measurements at field sites in Oklahoma and Colorado to determine the degree of lidar turbulence error that can be expected under different atmospheric conditions. These errors are then incorporated into a power prediction model to estimate the sensitivity of power prediction error to turbulence measurement error. Power prediction models, including the standard binning method and a random forest method, were developed using data from the aeroelastic simulator FAST for a 1.5 MW turbine. The impact of lidar turbulence error on the predicted power from these different models is examined to determine the degree of turbulence measurement accuracy needed for accurate power prediction.« less