LLNL signs agreement with Siemens

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has signed a $2 million, two-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Siemens Energy Inc.

The tie-up will focus on high-resolution atmospheric modeling capabilities to improve the efficiency of wind farm sites, turbine design and wind farm operations,

LLNL will provide numerical weather prediction models with resolution as fine as one-kilometer scale to predict power generated by the wind. Predictive time frames range from an hour ahead to days ahead of time.

On the significance of this initiative, the two parties highlighted that many US wind parks are yielding up to 20 percent less energy than predicted because of uncertain forecasts. This loss of energy can have complicated financial consequences. Considering this, more accurate wind predictions will have a positive effect on wind farm operators and owners who can know hours or days ahead of time how wind conditions will affect power generation.

For its part, LLNL has developed improved methods for simulating the turbulent properties of the lower atmosphere, which it thinks will translate into a significant predictive advantage for wind energy applications. Knowing the certainty of the forecast can be useful in a day-ahead or futures market where now there are penalties for under-performance, according to LLNL.