Monday, August 26, 2013

Renewable Wind and Solar Energy gets a Boost from new IBM Technology

According to a press release, a new wind and solar forecasting system developed by IBM may help to increase the reliability of renewable energy resources like wind and solar power.
“The solution combines weather prediction and analytics to accurately forecast the availability of wind power and solar energy.” the company wrote. “This will enable utilities to integrate more renewable energy into the power grid, helping to reduce carbon emissions while significantly improving clean energy output for consumers and businesses.”
Dubbed Hybrid Renewable Energy Forecasting (HyRef), the new system reportedly combines weather modeling capabilities, advanced cloud imaging technology and sky-facing cameras to track cloud movements, while sensors on the turbines monitor wind speed, temperature and direction.
All of this information is then assimilated and analyzed to be able to produce accurate local weather forecasts within a wind farm as far as one month in advance, or in 15-minute increments.
This level of accuracy will allow utility companies, relying on wind turbines and solar power, the ability to better estimate the amount of renewable energy which they will be able to deliver.
Being able to more accurately forecast the amount of clean renewable power that can be delivered to the grid, makes it easier to plan for any other sources of power which may be needed to supplement the wind and solar.
“Utilities around the world are employing a host of strategies to integrate new renewable energy resources into their operating systems in order to reach a baseline goal of a 25 percent renewable energy mix globally by 2025,” said Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, President and CEO of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE). “The weather modeling and forecasting data generated from HyRef will significantly improve this process and in turn, put us one step closer to maximizing the full potential of renewable resources.”
“Applying analytics and harnessing big data will allow utilities to tackle the intermittent nature of renewable energy and forecast power production from solar and wind, in a way that has never been done before,” said Brad Gammons, General Manager IBM’s Global Energy and Utilities Industry. “We have developed an intelligent system that combines weather and power forecasting to increase system availability and optimize power grid performance.”
Currently involved in more than 150 smart grid engagements around the world, IBM’s vision is to bring a new level of intelligence to how the world works—how every person, business, organization, government, natural system, and man-made system interacts. More information on these endeavors can be found online at: http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet.