Application of Ensemble Sensitivity Analysis to Observation Targeting for Short-term Wind Speed Forecasting

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The operators of electrical grids, sometimes referred to as Balancing Authorities (BA), typically make critical decisions on how to most reliably and economically balance electrical load and generation in time frames ranging from a few minutes to six hours ahead. At higher levels of wind power generation, there is an increasing need to improve the accuracy of 0- to 6-hour ahead wind power forecasts. Forecasts on this time scale have typically been strongly dependent on short-term trends indicated by the time series of power production and meteorological data from a wind farm. Additional input information is often available from the ... continued below

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Zack, J; Natenberg, E; Young, S; Manobianco, J & Kamath, C February 21, 2010.

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The operators of electrical grids, sometimes referred to as Balancing Authorities (BA), typically make critical decisions on how to most reliably and economically balance electrical load and generation in time frames ranging from a few minutes to six hours ahead. At higher levels of wind power generation, there is an increasing need to improve the accuracy of 0- to 6-hour ahead wind power forecasts. Forecasts on this time scale have typically been strongly dependent on short-term trends indicated by the time series of power production and meteorological data from a wind farm. Additional input information is often available from the output of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models and occasionally from off-site meteorological towers in the region surrounding the wind generation facility. A widely proposed approach to improve short-term forecasts is the deployment of off-site meteorological towers at locations upstream from the wind generation facility in order to sense approaching wind perturbations. While conceptually appealing, it turns out that, in practice, it is often very difficult to derive significant benefit in forecast performance from this approach. The difficulty is rooted in the fact that the type, scale, and amplitude of the processes controlling wind variability at a site change from day to day if not from hour to hour. Thus, a location that provides some useful forecast information for one time may not be a useful predictor a few hours later. Indeed, some processes that cause significant changes in wind power production operate predominantly in the vertical direction and thus cannot be monitored by employing a network of sensors at off-site locations. Hence, it is very challenging to determine the type of sensors and deployment locations to get the most benefit for a specific short-term forecast application. Two tools recently developed in the meteorological research community have the potential to help determine the locations and parameters to measure in order to get the maximum positive impact on forecast performance for a particular site and short-term look-ahead period. Both tools rely on the use of NWP models to assess the sensitivity of a forecast for a particular location to measurements made at a prior time (i.e. the look-ahead period) at points surrounding the target location. The fundamental hypothesis is that points and variables with high sensitivity are good candidates for measurements since information at those points are likely to have the most impact on the forecast for the desired parameter, location and look-ahead period. One approach is called the adjoint method (Errico and Vukicevic, 1992; Errico, 1997) and the other newer approach is known as Ensemble Sensitivity Analysis (ESA; Ancell and Hakim 2007; Torn and Hakim 2008). Both approaches have been tested on large-scale atmospheric prediction problems (e.g. forecasting pressure or precipitation over a relatively large region 24 hours ahead) but neither has been applied to mesoscale space-time scales of winds or any other variables near the surface of the earth. A number of factors suggest that ESA is better suited for short-term wind forecasting applications. One of the most significant advantages of this approach is that it is not necessary to linearize the mathematical representation of the processes in the underlying atmospheric model as required by the adjoint approach. Such a linearization may be especially problematic for the application of short-term forecasting of boundary layer winds in complex terrain since non-linear shifts in the structure of boundary layer due to atmospheric stability changes are a critical part of the wind power production forecast problem. The specific objective of work described in this paper is to test the ESA as a tool to identify measurement locations and variables that have the greatest positive impact on the accuracy of wind forecasts in the 0- to 6-hour look-ahead periods for the wind generation area of California's Tehachapi Pass during the warm (high generation) season. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 highlights the methodology, Section 3 presents results, and Section 4 concludes with a summary and brief discussion of future work.

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  • Report No.: LLNL-TR-424442
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/972845 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 972845
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc933792

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  • February 21, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 8:13 p.m.

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Zack, J; Natenberg, E; Young, S; Manobianco, J & Kamath, C. Application of Ensemble Sensitivity Analysis to Observation Targeting for Short-term Wind Speed Forecasting, report, February 21, 2010; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc933792/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.