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Title: An error reduction algorithm to improve lidar turbulence estimates for wind energy

Abstract

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 lidars 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 frommore » 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

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1343361
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1324227
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5000-66374
Journal ID: ISSN 2366-7451
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; LDRD Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Wind Energy Science (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Wind Energy Science (Online); Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2366-7451
Publisher:
European Wind Energy Association - Copernicus
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; lidar; turbulence; power prediction; machine learning

Citation Formats

Newman, Jennifer F., and Clifton, Andrew. An error reduction algorithm to improve lidar turbulence estimates for wind energy. United States: N. p., 2017. 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. Fri . "An error reduction algorithm to improve lidar turbulence estimates for wind energy". United States. doi:10.5194/wes-2-77-2017.
@article{osti_1343361,
title = {An error reduction algorithm to improve lidar turbulence estimates for wind energy},
author = {Newman, Jennifer F. and Clifton, Andrew},
abstractNote = {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 lidars 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.},
doi = {10.5194/wes-2-77-2017},
journal = {Wind Energy Science (Online)},
number = 1,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Feb 10 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Fri Feb 10 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.5194/wes-2-77-2017

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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
  • 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 largemore » 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.« 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
  • High-quality profiles of mean and turbulent statistics of the wind field upstream of a wind farm can be produced using a scanning Doppler lidar. Careful corrections for the spatial filtering of the wind field by the lidar pulse produce turbulence estimates equivalent to point sensors but with the added advantage of a larger sampling volume to increase the statistical accuracy of the estimates. For a well-designed lidar system, this permits accurate estimates of the key turbulent statistics over various subdomains and with sufficiently short observation times to monitor rapid changes in conditions. These features may be ideally suited for optimalmore » operation of wind farms and also for improved resource assessment of potential sites.« 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