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Title: Final Technical Report: The Incubation of Next-Generation Radar Technologies to Lower the Cost of Wind Energy

Abstract

The National Wind Institute (NWI) at Texas Tech University (TTU) has had an impressive and well documented 46-year history of wind related research activities (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/nwi/). In 2011 with funding from the United States Department of Energy (DOE), an NWI team applied radar technologies and techniques to document the complex flows occurring across a wind plant. The resulting efforts yielded measurements that exceeded the capabilities of commercial lidar technologies with respect to maximum range, range resolution and scan speed. The NWI team was also the first to apply dual-Doppler synthesis and objective analysis techniques to resolve the full horizontal wind field (i.e. not just the line-of-sight wind speeds) to successfully define turbine inflow and wake flows across large segments of wind plants. While these successes advanced wind energy interests, the existing research radar platforms were designed to serve a diversity of meteorological applications, not specifically wind energy. Because of this broader focus and the design choices made during their development, the existing radars experienced technical limitations that inhibited their commercial viability and wide spread adoption. This DOE project enabled the development of a new radar prototype specifically designed for the purpose of documenting wind farm complex flows. Relative to other “offmore » the shelf” radar technologies, the specialized transmitter and receiver chains were specifically designed to enhance data availability in non-precipitating atmospheres. The new radar prototype was integrated at TTU using components from various suppliers across the world, and installed at the Reese Technology Center in May 2016. Following installation, functionality and performance testing were completed, and subsequent comparative analysis indicated that the new prototype greatly enhances data availability by a factor of 3.5-50 in almost all atmospheric conditions. The new prototype also provided enhanced signal quality in clear air (i.e. non-precipitating) environments, mitigated atmospheric attenuation, and extended the useful range of data collection to beyond 30km in cooperative atmospheric conditions. Additionally, the new DOE-X prototype appears to benefit from Bragg scattering when the thermal stratification of the atmosphere is strong (i.e. nocturnal hours). This result was not possible in any capacity with the previous technology. Combined, these developments represent the achievement of all project objectives, advance the Technical Readiness Level (TRL) to a level of 7, and open the door for more widespread adoption and usage in the wind energy sector. At the same time, radar induced artifacts from multi-trip echoes and ground targets increased with the new technology, and these required additional attention for some applications. Commercialization activity accelerated in parallel with the DOE funded project, as SmartWind Technologies, L.L.C., was contracted to provide two new radar systems to DONG Energy to monitor the Westermost Rough wind plant off the east coast of the United Kingdom. These new early stage commercial radars systems were closely related to the DOE prototype, but maintain more robust ancillary support systems. The radars were installed during the summer of 2016, and have been operational since that time. Additionally, commercially funded advancements have since been made in processing sophistication to mitigate the previously identified radar artifacts. TTU and SmartWind Technologies stand ready to provide public and private partners focused on wind plant optimization with this new capability. Ancillary interests have also been identified as the initial deployments of the technology have shown the ability to identify and track avian and drone activity, opening up multi-purpose operational opportunities.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1364776
Report Number(s):
DOE-TTU-0006804
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0006804
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; 58 GEOSCIENCES; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; Radar; Complex Wind Flows; Wind Turbine; Wind Plant; Turbine Wakes; Remote Sensing

Citation Formats

Schroeder, John, Hirth, Brian, and Guynes, Jerry. Final Technical Report: The Incubation of Next-Generation Radar Technologies to Lower the Cost of Wind Energy. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1364776.
Schroeder, John, Hirth, Brian, & Guynes, Jerry. Final Technical Report: The Incubation of Next-Generation Radar Technologies to Lower the Cost of Wind Energy. United States. doi:10.2172/1364776.
Schroeder, John, Hirth, Brian, and Guynes, Jerry. Wed . "Final Technical Report: The Incubation of Next-Generation Radar Technologies to Lower the Cost of Wind Energy". United States. doi:10.2172/1364776. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1364776.
@article{osti_1364776,
title = {Final Technical Report: The Incubation of Next-Generation Radar Technologies to Lower the Cost of Wind Energy},
author = {Schroeder, John and Hirth, Brian and Guynes, Jerry},
abstractNote = {The National Wind Institute (NWI) at Texas Tech University (TTU) has had an impressive and well documented 46-year history of wind related research activities (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/nwi/). In 2011 with funding from the United States Department of Energy (DOE), an NWI team applied radar technologies and techniques to document the complex flows occurring across a wind plant. The resulting efforts yielded measurements that exceeded the capabilities of commercial lidar technologies with respect to maximum range, range resolution and scan speed. The NWI team was also the first to apply dual-Doppler synthesis and objective analysis techniques to resolve the full horizontal wind field (i.e. not just the line-of-sight wind speeds) to successfully define turbine inflow and wake flows across large segments of wind plants. While these successes advanced wind energy interests, the existing research radar platforms were designed to serve a diversity of meteorological applications, not specifically wind energy. Because of this broader focus and the design choices made during their development, the existing radars experienced technical limitations that inhibited their commercial viability and wide spread adoption. This DOE project enabled the development of a new radar prototype specifically designed for the purpose of documenting wind farm complex flows. Relative to other “off the shelf” radar technologies, the specialized transmitter and receiver chains were specifically designed to enhance data availability in non-precipitating atmospheres. The new radar prototype was integrated at TTU using components from various suppliers across the world, and installed at the Reese Technology Center in May 2016. Following installation, functionality and performance testing were completed, and subsequent comparative analysis indicated that the new prototype greatly enhances data availability by a factor of 3.5-50 in almost all atmospheric conditions. The new prototype also provided enhanced signal quality in clear air (i.e. non-precipitating) environments, mitigated atmospheric attenuation, and extended the useful range of data collection to beyond 30km in cooperative atmospheric conditions. Additionally, the new DOE-X prototype appears to benefit from Bragg scattering when the thermal stratification of the atmosphere is strong (i.e. nocturnal hours). This result was not possible in any capacity with the previous technology. Combined, these developments represent the achievement of all project objectives, advance the Technical Readiness Level (TRL) to a level of 7, and open the door for more widespread adoption and usage in the wind energy sector. At the same time, radar induced artifacts from multi-trip echoes and ground targets increased with the new technology, and these required additional attention for some applications. Commercialization activity accelerated in parallel with the DOE funded project, as SmartWind Technologies, L.L.C., was contracted to provide two new radar systems to DONG Energy to monitor the Westermost Rough wind plant off the east coast of the United Kingdom. These new early stage commercial radars systems were closely related to the DOE prototype, but maintain more robust ancillary support systems. The radars were installed during the summer of 2016, and have been operational since that time. Additionally, commercially funded advancements have since been made in processing sophistication to mitigate the previously identified radar artifacts. TTU and SmartWind Technologies stand ready to provide public and private partners focused on wind plant optimization with this new capability. Ancillary interests have also been identified as the initial deployments of the technology have shown the ability to identify and track avian and drone activity, opening up multi-purpose operational opportunities.},
doi = {10.2172/1364776},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 15 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed Mar 15 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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