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Realizing Wake Steering Benefits in Real Time

Realizing Wake Steering Benefits in Real Time

Despite its invention decades ago, wake steering is still an emerging technology within the industry. There are several reasons for this, including both difficulties in implementation and measurement. In most cases, between 6 to 12 months of data are required to measure with statistical significance the AEP benefit of wake steering. However, visual inspection of time series on a minute-by-minute basis does lend insight into the production benefit of wake steering. 

The time series below details several things:

  1. The power of an upstream turbine employing wake steering (blue line)
  2. The power of a downstream turbine waked by the upstream turbine (red line)
  3. The power of a reference turbine (green line) whose power remains unaffected by the ongoing wake steering
  4. Shaded regions noting whether Swarm wake steering is On (green shaded regions) or Off (unshaded regions)

In the first “Swarm Off” period, when wake steering is not being employed, the downstream turbine is waked by its upstream peer. As a result, the downstream turbine is comparatively underperforming by approximately 250 kW. Once Swarm wake steering is toggled on, there is a slight dip in the waked turbine’s power due to suboptimal implementation. However, after several minutes, the wake steering turbine yaws to the correct position and we see the waked turbine’s power rapidly increase until its production is consistent with its turbine peers, demonstrating how the wake was successfully steered. This pattern continues in later toggling periods, with the waked turbine achieving a power gain of approximately 500 kW during the transition from Swarm Off to On at 22:15.

 

In another case where the wind speed and direction remained relatively constant over the analysis period, the benefit of Swarm for the turbine pair engaged in wake steering was approximately 30%!


While these examples are not statistically significant measurements of controller performance, each shows a preview of what we will measure in aggregate after controller tuning and a several months of data collection.

Stay tuned! Click here to learn more about WindESCo Swarm.

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