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A Comparison of Long-Term Wind Speed Forecasting Models

A Comparison of Long-Term Wind Speed Forecasting Models

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Published by Guru Raghavendra

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Published by: Guru Raghavendra on Feb 03, 2011
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03/16/2011

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Petros P. Kritharas1e-mail: p.kritharas@lboro.ac.ukSimon J. Watsone-mail: s.j.watson@lboro.ac.ukCentre for Renewable Energy SystemsTechnology (CREST),Department of Electronic and ElectricalEngineering,Loughborough University,Loughborough LE11 3TU, UKA Comparison of Long-Term WindSpeed Forecasting ModelsThis paper presents a time series analysis of historical observations of wind speed inorder to project future wind speed trends. For this study, 52 years of data havebeen usedfrom seven suitable stations across the UK. Four parsimonious models have been employed,and the data were split into two different segments: the training and the validationdata sets. During the fitting process, the optimum parameters for each model weredetermined in order to minimize the mean square error in the predictions. The resultssuggest that the seasonal pattern in wind speeds is the most important factor but thatthere is some monthly autocorrelation in the data, which can improve forecasts.This isconfirmed by testing the four models with the model having considered both autocorrelationand seasonality achieving the smallest errors. The approach proposed for forecastingwind speeds a month ahead may be deemed useful to suppliers for purchasing baseload in advance and to system operators for power system maintenance schedulingup toa month ahead.
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DOI: 10.1115/1.4002346
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1 IntroductionWind generators, in order to avoid being penalized for any mismatchin the power contracted to be delivered and that was actuallydelivered, use several forecasting techniques. The value ofwind power forecasting has a twofold importance. First, knowledgeof the expected generation output from wind power plantsprovides confidence to the system operators
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SOs
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when trying toachieve reliable and secure operation of the network. Second, itenhances the value of wind generated electricity by giving vitalinformation when participating in an energy market such as themarket in Great Britain. This can be achieved both by providinghigher value contracts due to better bidding strategies and byminimizing imbalance costs. Specifically, in a deregulated market,generators and suppliers
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to whom the imbalance risk is oftentransferred
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can avoid being penalized by choosing an optimumbidding strategy. However, this also depends on the market inquestion. As stated in Ref.
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1
 
, the rules can influence the selectionof an appropriate bidding strategy. Findings vary depending on theselected approach
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statistical or physical
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, the time horizon of thepredictions, or the area covered
 
single wind turbine/farm, subregion,region, or country
 
. An up-to-date comparison and evaluationof the state-of-the-art of forecasting systems can be found inRef.
 
2
 
. In addition, for a comprehensive overview of predictionmodels, we refer to Refs.
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3–5
 
. However, these models tend to
 
predict wind conditions, thus wind power, only a week ahead dueto the difficulties of forecasting the state of the atmosphere beyond10 days. Nevertheless, any reference for the future state ofwind conditions is crucial since it will provide suppliers with vitalinformation with regard to the optimum purchasing of base load
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6
 
. Moreover, it will contribute to the maintenance schedule forwind farms, the whole operation of which can be time consumingand expensive. Also, wind power forecasting will allow SOs toevaluate the potential wind energy production and schedule powersystems in a more effective way
 
7
 
. The use of wind indices hasbeen proposed in Ref.
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8
 
since they provide suppliers/generatorsand SOs with estimates regarding the long-term production fromwind farms
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9
 
. In one research project, three parsimonious methodsfor estimating monthly wind energy were compared. Fromthis comparison, it was shown that an hourly based approach anda linear regression method performed similarly. This conclusionestablished the linear regression method, despite its simplicity, foruse in estimating wind energy at monthly time scales
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10
 
. In Ref.
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11
 
, it was shown that it was feasible to predict to a reasonabledegree the monthly electricity production from wind farms in LaVenta, Oaxaca, Mexico. The authors compared two methods: autoregressiveintegrated moving average
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ARIMA
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and artificialneural network
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ANN
 
models. The results indicated in this casethat the seasonal ARIMA
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SARIMA
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models performed betterthan the ANN models. In another study, a probabilistic model wasproposed for use in long-term energy resource planning
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12
 
. Duringthe study, both autoregressive
 
AR
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and autoregressive movingaverage
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ARMA
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models were tested for generating windspeed time series. The wind speed was converted into power, andby employing a spatial smoothing technique, the individual poweroutput from a wind turbine was extrapolated across geographicallydisperse wind farm sites. However, some other studies doubtthe efficacy of ARIMA models when compared with the ANNmodel. In Ref.
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13
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, feed forward and recurrent networks havebeen developed for predicting wind speed at a monthly time scaleand have been compared with ARIMA models. This comparisonshowed that ANN models performed better. Also, in Ref.
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14
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, theauthors developed an ANN model and compared it with an ARmodel. The results again indicated the superiority of ANN modelsfor predicting wind speed on a monthly basis. Similarly, Ref.
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15
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proposed two multilayered network architectures for predictingmonthly mean wind speed with satisfactory results, while in Ref.
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16
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a feed forward, back propagation network was developed forthe same purpose. It is clear from the above discussion that thereis not yet consensus as to which approach
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nonlinear or stochasticmodel
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produces the better result.This paper presents a statistical analysis of wind speeds over aperiod of 52 years for the UK. Based on autoregressive techniquesand by using the seasonal patterns identified in the time series,monthly wind speed forecasts have been generated. The modelsdeveloped in this study are compared, and it is found that the bestforecasts are made when the seasonal component is taken intoaccount.2 Data Collection and AnalysisObservations of several meteorological parameters, such aswind speed, have been retrieved from the Met Office IntegratedDatabase Archive System
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MIDAS
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17
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and have been collectedfrom a wide range of locations across the UK, including synopticand climatological stations. The data used in this paper include1Corresponding author.
 
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNALOF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 8, 2009; finalmanuscript received June 22, 2010; published online October 4, 2010. Assoc. Editor:Spyros Voutsinas.Journal of Solar Energy Engineering Copyright © 2010 by ASME NOVEMBER 2010, Vol. 132 / 041008-1Downloaded 19 Jan 2011 to 203.200.35.31. Redistribution subject to ASME licenseor copyright; see http://www.asme.org/terms/Terms_Use.cfmonly the wind speed records and have been analyzed statisticallyin order to identify repeating patterns and autocorrelation. Observationsfrom the MIDAS database go back to the late 1940s, andthe records were stored as 10 min averages made on the hour. Inorder to accomplish homogeneity between the different stations interms of time, the year 1957 was set as the starting year for allstations used in this analysis. In the present study, we were interestedin demonstrating the existence of repeating patterns of windspeed as a way of forecasting but modified for any observed autocorrelation.From over 50,000 stations, varying in type and location,we selected seven sites, which were suitable for analysis.One of the criteria for selecting these specific stations was thecompleteness of the data recorded and stored for each station.Another criterion set was that the stations used in the study arestill carrying out observations and hence are active. Also, prior tothe selection of the stations, a quality assessment was applied onthe data to avoid discrepancies and missing or duplicated values.The requirement set was the total recorded hours to be
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75% ofthe total theoretical hours for the 52 years. Table 1 shows thepercentage of the available data for the stations used.A fast Fourier transform
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FFT
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was applied to generate a windspeed frequency spectrum. Figure 1 clearly shows the existence oftwo strong peaks. The first peak appears at 24 h and the secondpeak at 1 year due to diurnal and annual variation in wind speed
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18
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, respectively. In Fig. 1, the stations are split into three cases:1. strong diurnal peak and strong annual peak2. strong diurnal peak and weak annual peak3. weak diurnal peak and strong annual peakAfter generating the wind speed spectrum and observing thestrong patterns on a daily and yearly basis, a time series analysiswas applied on the wind speed data. As Fig. 2 confirms, the analysisshowed that the time series are nonstationary. Analyzing themonthly mean wind speed averaged over all years per stationresulted in the observation of a similar seasonal behavior for eachstation
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see Fig. 3
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. It is clear that during the summer, where thelowest wind speeds occur, and during the winter, where the highestwind speeds have been recorded, all the stations showed similarperiodic variations.A popular and established way to identify and measure the periodicitywithin the time series is by determining the correlationbetween different data values at varying time lags
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for this study,time lags are in months
 
. Figure 4
 
a
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shows significant seasonalityin the time series. The standard errors
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SEs
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in the correlogramrepresent the white noise estimates, while Q stands for the Box–Ljung test statistic, which is among the portmanteau tests. TheBox–Ljung test statistic is used to identify how well fitted a timeseries model is and is based on the autocorrelation plot. As Fig.4
 
a
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confirms, if the value for the significant autocorrelation
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p
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isfound to be relatively small, it is considered that the model haspassed the test
 
19
 
. Figure 4
 
b
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shows the partial autocorrelationfunction
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PACF
 
plot, which suggests that correlation in the data

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