Wind Resource Assessment (WRA)

Definition of a wind project at any stage of its development to reduce uncertainty and provide the client with the necessary technical and financial data.


Timeline

2007-2023

Sector

Wind Energy

Scope

Wind resource assessment (WRA)
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BACKGROUND

SOLUTE has extensive experience and technical capacity with WRAs (Wind Resource Assesment), which help properly define a project at every stage of its development, based on the available information. This reduces uncertainty at every stage and provides the client with the necessary technical and financial data.

Observing every relevant parameter, we make the most of the energy in specific locations. Based on the available wind and orographic data, we develop detailed lineal and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) wind resource models used to optimally configure the best solution possible.

Wind resource analysis aims to define the wind conditions in a wind farm in an optimal way, minimising uncertainty, in order to study the energy production in the wind farm, evaluate the loads and ensure the useful life of the site, thus avoiding a non-optimal design or an inadequate layout of the wind turbines, as well as a possible erroneous selection of the turbines according to the calculated wind and other environmental conditions.

Overall objectives include optimising the site's energy resources through appropriate selection and placement of available technology to maximise the LCOE (Levelize Cost of Energy).

The processes to consider in achieving this goal are measuring the wind conditions at the site, estimating the wind resource at the farm, defining and optimising the layout, performing the energy calculation and assessing the wind conditions at the turbines for the load study.


RESULTS

Thanks to this capacity, the optimal definition of the wind energy is obtained so that the client can be provided with the necessary indicators to analyse and enhance the technical and financial feasibility of the initiative, thereby maximising earnings.

The wind resource analysis aims for an optimal definition of the wind conditions at a wind farm, minimising uncertainty, to study the farm's energy production, evaluate loads and ensure the working life of the site.

This resolves any gaps in the understanding of the wind resource in a specific area. We identify an area's potential for energy production, avoiding sub-optimal site designs or inadequate turbine layouts in the space to be occupied. We can also avoid incorrect turbine selection based on the wind calculations and other environmental conditions.

General objectives include optimising the site's energy resources by the appropriate selection and placement of the available technology to maximise the levelised cost of energy or the energy units for the investment in the project in question. This means producing more for less by placing the equipment where it is most profitable.

The processes to consider in achieving this goal are measuring the wind conditions at the site, estimating the wind resource at the farm, defining and optimising the layout, performing the energy calculation and assessing the wind conditions at the turbines for the load study.


The wind resource analysis aims for an optimal definition of the wind conditions at a wind farm, minimising uncertainty, to study the farm's energy production, evaluate loads and ensure the working life of the site.

METHODOLOGY

There are multiple alternatives, from preliminary wind potential studies to the design and management of campaigns, including estimates of the wind resource and energy production, uncertainty and wind conditions at the farm.

Our main tool is FUROW – comprehensive software for developing wind projects. It covers everything from wind data processing to micrositing and financial analysis, including lineal and CFD wind resource calculations.

SOLUTE develops its projects in accordance with industry standards, principally the MEASNET and IEC61400 regulations. It runs WRA studies based on measured data, generally drawn from met masts over the course of at least one year, although it is capable of preparing potential wind studies without requiring met masts in the area.

The reference period is then selected, using the maximum number of years with good data availability, to capture trends and temporary variations in the wind at the site. Data taken from measurement points at hub height is extrapolated throughout the site to determine the wind at the desired height using lineal or CFD models. This enables calculation of the farm's long-term energy production, along with the wind conditions at the turbine positions to conduct class studies of the equipment.

Finally, the reference period is selected to provide a long-term study with data representative of the site for development.

The characteristics and technical requirements of the methodologies used for wind energy are highly varied. That's why we adapt knowledge and skills depending on the project to be carried out, to always offer the best study possible based on each need.

EXPERIENCE

The potential clients we focus on include developers, operators and manufacturers (technologists). SOLUTE has been focusing on this project phase for around 15 years. We have a hand in developing an average of 1.5 GW/year, working from the wind potential initiative phase through to the final stages of due diligence, including exploring for new sites.

Using FUROW, our proprietary wind farm design software, we conduct everything from potentiality studies to final evaluations of public offers for both Spanish and international clients. We participate in every phase of the project: pre-feasibility to select the best met mast positions; wind measurement campaigns with met masts; SODARs (sonic detection and ranging) and LIDARs (light detection and ranging); and wind resource calculations.

SOLUTE not only works on European projects but also in many other countries around the world. We work with a wide variety of client types. These include both small and large developers, from pre-feasibility studies through to large tenders; original equipment manufacturers, supporting the sale of their equipment and conducting site condition assessments and mechanical load analyses; and farm owners and operators, providing a range of services such as analysis of special meteorological conditions, meteorological and energy production forecasts, repowering and root cause analysis. We use various computer programs to analyse wind data, including in-house tools and commercial programs.

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