Wind forces are the causal factors that lead to observed wind at any location and height hour after hour, day after day, week after week, and year after year. These wind forces not only originate, evolve, weaken, and perhaps completely disappear in time but also in space. In other words, their initiation, growth, and dissipation behavior changes at every location and height within minutes to hours to days.
Any methodology that is capable of capturing and/or representing such wind forces sufficiently will not only provide quantitative wind information but also provide supporting information in terms of what exactly caused the wind speed and wind direction magnitudes and why wind behaves the way it does at any location.
RESPR Atmospheric Simulation Technology is one such methodology that captures and represents all relevant forces in many relevant spatial scales.
Bottom line: There is no wind without the underlying wind forces. One needs to recognize this critical aspect of wind and employ the proper technological advancements.
Typical questions our clients ask us about our technology:
Question 1: Is your technology similar to WindSim, WAsP, WindPro, MeteoDyn?
Answer 1: The anwer to this question is, ‘No.’ Our atmospheric simulation technology offers a different class of wind data “measurements.” For example, our technology takes into account the time-varying wind forces and all other physical processes, from large distances away from the site in both horizontal (100’s of kilometers) and vertical (10’s of kilometers) directions all the way to your exact site location. All these wind forces and physical processes are relevant to the wind behavior at your site and must be accounted for. In other words, our technology takes into account all these changing wind forces and physical processes and produces wind information on par with and similar to anemometers, sodars, lidars, etc.
In other words, the software packages mentioned above expect site specific wind data from some source (e.g., anemometers). Our technology, on the other hand, produces site specific wind data without expecting any input from the customer. However, many of such software packages have been shown to be compatible with our wind data and can easily ingest our wind data and produce custom analyses (e.g., micrositing maps) and reports for you.
Question 2: What if we have already collected some site measurements? How will you use them?
Answer 2: As extensively discussed in Dr. James Stalker’s articles (www.wind-energy-assessment.com/news/), site measurements are not required for the application of our technology. All we need from you is your lat/lon and height information. According to these articles, limited period site measurements offer only secondary benefits with respect to wind energy assessment efforts. Three such secondary benefits are the following:
a. First, your site measurements can be used to quantitatively compare how well our technology produces site specific wind information. WindForces has engaged in many such demonstration studies successfully over the years. If such comparison is practical for your projects, WindForces can engage in such comparative demonstration studies for each of your wind projects separately. So, from this demonstration standpoint, if you have already collected site data, it would perhaps make your business case stronger and your report more convincing.
b. The second secondary benefit of having your site data is to make minor corrections to our simulated wind data. This is a post simulation step and whether WindForces will resort to it or not critically depends on the quality of your site measurements. There is that possibility of adjusting our good simulation data with bad (e.g., missing) site measurements. This type of adjustment is usually done reluctantly and very carefully.
c. The third secondary benefit of site measurements is to provide better input to our type of atmospheric simulation models. The short-period, single location site measurements that you have collected are severely inadequate to make any meaningful difference so you can reap this benefit. In other words, your limited site measurements have no real value from the standpoint of this secondary benefit.
Question 3: What are some of the specific benefits offered by your technology?
Answer3 : Our technology produces location specific, height specific, time specific wind information from the changing physical conditions of the atmosphere for each and every hour of each and every day of the year. Our technology produces a yearlong simulation data set for your specific location(s) and height(s) in 30 days. It also produces height specific wind information based on the conditions at that height and based on how wind is affected by all other processes at that height and elsewhere. In other words, you do not need to rely on extrapolated wind information from measurements at lower heights and instead you can get wind information for your exact height (60-m, 80-m, 100-m, 120-m above ground level). Also, you do not need to rely on extrapolated wind information at other locations and heights from single location site measurements.
Additionally, you can get, from WindForces, location specific, height specific information for many years, in a matter of months, so you can determine long-term energy projections accurately. Since atmospheric conditions change differently in different years (e.g., it does not snow on the same day of the year at a location), trying to use single location measurements to establish long-term energy projections accurately is to basically ignore the complexities of the atmosphere.
Question 4: Is WindForces wind information bankable?
Answer 4: We, at WindForces, believe that bankable wind information does not result from someone stating so or from someone having direct experience of the accuracy of wind information, from any source, at one location. On the other hand, we believe that bankable wind information needs to be produced for each and every site using scientifically sound and effective methodologies such as ours. For added cost, WindForces will engage in short-period comparisons of our simulation output with actual site measurements. How long a period to compare will depend on several factors, including project time line, budget, level of scrutiny investors seek.
We will work closely with you and your financial partners to figure out all project parameters before proceeding with our simulation strategy. Remember that we are here to help you make profitable financial decisions, not to just sell our wind information. Also remember that we have the scientific expertise, multi-decadal professional experience, and cutting-edge product vision to transform your dreams into reality and to transform the archaic wind industry practices along the way.
From the standpoint of the bankability issue, WindForces technology actually minimizes or eliminates bias in the long-term energy projections. It is in the long-term energy projections, where the largest bias and risk factors lie in approaches that do not take all the atmospheric complexities into consideration.
Question 5: How do your data product prices compare with your competitors’?
Answer 5: Our product prices are based on the direct value and benefit they bring to you. In this sense, we do not pay a whole of attention to what other vendors have to offer. In general, prices do indicate the actual value and, sometimes, perceived value, and you need to make sure you get what you pay for.
Question 6: How does WindForces validate its wind information?
Answer 6: Over the past nine years, WindForces wind information was validated against actual site measurements in many different weather/climate regimes (e.g., Texas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, California, Canada, etc.). We had also conducted independent validation studies by engaging industry leading consultants in 2008. One of these studies showed very good agreement with actual observations for a utility scale wind project site (class 4+) and another study didn’t show as good an agreement but correctly identifed the site classification (class 1) as unsuitable for a utility scale project.
We engage in constant product improvement efforts at WindForces and reach major product improvement milestones in every 9 months or so. In other words, our product reached at least 2 such improvement milestones since those validation studies in 2008, thereby cutting the already small error in half–twice. In other words, if that old error was say 8%, now it is less than 2%.
The takeway here should be that you, as a user and/or as a consultant, should keep up with our latest product improvements on a constant basis unless you choose to stay on the side lines and not benefit from this cutting-edge atmospheric simulation technology.
Also, since those 2008 validation tests, WindForces has changed its data validation strategy completely. WindForces now offers an option for each customer to get its wind information compared for each site with actual site measurements, by yourself or a consultant of your choosing, for a brief period, say, 3 to 6 months, and then produces 10+ simulation years once the validation is satisfactorily established. WindForces has made this decision to address the critical issue that most consultants are not well versed in WindForces complex, atmospheric CFD modeling approaches to reasonably recommend our product to anyone. On the other hand, independent comparison of wind information is straightforward so it does not require in-depth understanding of the underlying atmospheric processes on your part or on the part of your consultant.
Please keep those questions coming. We appreciate all the questions we have received so far.