The objective of this IAP (ARTES element 20) Feasibility Study is to assess the technical feasibility and commercial viability of space-based services meeting the current needs of the wind power industry.
The characterisation of wind as a power resource is a key objective when designing and operating a wind farm, but its accurate prediction is not an easy task. Wind is an atmospheric variable with strong spatial and temporal fluctuations requiring sophisticated modelling.
The feasibility study is willing to tackle the following main needs of the wind energy community:
Operational wind forecast: A variety of stakeholders (including Transmission System Operators (TSOs), Distribution System Operators (DSOs) as well as Wind Farm operators) are interested in getting wind forecast / nowcast information. Their interests cover different purposes, notably electricity system management; electricity market participation; wind farm operations including prediction of threats from extreme events; and identification of weather windows for wind farm construction and maintenance.
Wind farms planning: The lack of historical measures is an important obstacle in the development of new wind farms, especially off-shore. There are large areas on ground and on the sea where no monitoring of wind vectors has ever been done. These historical data are demanded in order to develop or invest in a specific wind farm project.
Three space-based capabilities are found relevant for the integration into the potential services: Earth Observation, Satellite Navigation, and Satellite Communications.
Earth Observation data: for aspects such as wind characterisation, wave movement, etc.
GNSS signals: GNSS atmospheric tomography (occultation) to determine accurately and in real time certain wind-related atmospheric parameters.
Satellite communications: Most wind farms have their own fibre-optic communications networks linked to every turbine. However, it is not expected that operators will grant access to these networks. In addition to this, some on-shore and older off-shore wind farms lack this connectivity. Finally, many potential wind farm locations are in remote areas lacking any connectivity and data collection by satellite may be the least-cost solution.
These space capabilities need to be integrated with existing capabilities of the relevant actors to provide usable and cost efficient support.
The study content will include as tasks: stakeholder / user consolidation, refinement of user requirements, state of the art analysis, service definition, system definition, proof of concept, viability analysis, and implementation roadmap.
For More Information
Information on the call for proposals has been published on ESA’s Electronic Mail Invitation to Tendering System, EMITS (http://emits.esa.int), under the reference AO 7148 (under “Open Invitations to Tender”). The applicable tender solicitation package can be downloaded by registered users under this 'Announcement of Opportunity' (AO). This specific call is open for applications until July 18, 2012. 'Entity Registration' is possible on the same website.