Wind Power To Be Collected More Efficiently

It will be done by optimizing siting.

Evolution is providing the inspiration for University of Adelaide computer science research to find the best placement of turbines to increase wind farm productivity.

Senior Lecturer Dr Frank Neumann, from the School of Computer Science, is using a "selection of the fittest" step-by-step approach called "evolutionary algorithms" to optimise wind turbine placement. This takes into account wake effects, the minimum amount of land needed, wind factors and the complex aerodynamics of wind turbines.

What a Nice Bit Of Work. Collecting energy which is mostly useless more efficiently is a big advance. Evidently storage - which is the real missing ingredient is more difficult.

Not useless you say? This story says otherwise.

Today in Scotland, as the Great Recession rolls on, and as newly reprimitivized "wind farms" replace more tried and true -- and apparently predictable - methods of electricity generation, history rhymes rather nicely. The BBC reports, "Six Scottish windfarms were paid up to £300,000 to stop producing energy, it has emerged:"
I guess wind is different. With normal power plants you pay for the energy used. With wind plants unusable energy now has value. Well not to civilization of course. But the wind farmers do quite nicely.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 05.04.11 at 07:05 PM


And the Chinese, from whom the wind farms get those lovely magnets, sicken and die. But that's ok. Because it's all "GREEN."

Kathy Kinsley   ·  May 4, 2011 8:26 PM

So they've found that using good old genetic algorithms may help improve collection? Wow, color me unimpressed. Genetic algorithms are useful when you have no way of arriving at analytic solutions, or other optimization techniques are too difficult. Basically you don't know where the solution is going to go and are hoping that it won't dead end at some evolutionary backwater. You certainly can't prove the solution is optimal. I'd have thought good old Monte Carlo methods would have been better suited to this particular job, but there is no harm playing with ideas.

DocD   ·  May 5, 2011 3:42 AM

Wind and solar power, as we know it, are about the same in saving energy as riding a bicycle while having someone follow you with a car/truck so you can ride whenever you get tired.
Both wind and solar produce energy, but it is not sustainable therefore needs 100% backup with conventional coal, gas or nuclear plants.

Hugh   ·  May 5, 2011 8:19 AM

It is simple really. Conventional power is produced in plants. Wind and solar is produced on farms. We pay farms to not produce crops so why not energy.

I saw an article describing how due to this year's global warming, the snow pack in the Cascades was enormous and the Pacific Northwest hydroelectric plants were running overtime (unable to just divert the water due to air/water mixing that was detrimental to the salmon). So much so that they were giving the power away, but not to California. California mandates a certain percentage of "renewable" power, but specifically excludes large hydro, so they can't accept the free hydro power and must try to keep the wind farms chugging out expensive power even as the power companies want to idle them to create space for the hydro production.

JKB   ·  May 5, 2011 8:58 AM

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