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Lawrence Livermore National Lab

About Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Staffed by more than 6,500 employees serving in an array of fields, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the premier research and development facility for science and technology solutions to some of our nation's greatest challenges. The lab has a 60-year legacy of championing science in the national interest. Perhaps best known for its work securing the nation's nuclear stockpile and enhancing global security, LLNL is also advancing energy security through the discovery, development, production, and deployment of cost-effective, sustainable systems while protecting the environment.

Capabilities

LLNL has been actively engaged in research in wind power for over two decades, working with both private industry and also state and federal government agencies. The core strength of the wind program at LLNL comes from deep expertise in atmospheric sciences, including analysis of historical data, current field observation and forecasting. This capability is paired with the LLNL strengths in computational modeling and data analysis to develop tools that are of use to the wind industry and power utilities in planning, analyzing and operating wind farms. LLNL works frequently with wind farm developers and operators to provide deeper understanding into site specific power production, considering the local terrain, ground cover, and turbine layout among key factors. Some examples of our wind power activities include:

  • Developing enhanced power curves for turbines and wind farms from observed inflow and SCADA data
  • Developing high resolution wind forecast tools, including local terrain and turbine wakes, using the industry standard and open source WRF code
  • Field campaigns to evaluate flow behavior in complex terrain (hills, canyons, etc.)
  • Ensemble based wind forecasts at high resolution for site specific needs
  • Wind ramp prediction

Facilities

LLNL typically validates all new models against a variety of field observations and SCADA data to ensure that the results are valid. We have a unique 7000 acre rural facility, Site 300, in the Altamont hills to our east that is under continuous observation and is used as a key site for model validation. We also partner with active wind farms to provide a variety of observation sites for validation. LLNL maintains an impressive catalog of mobile observational instruments including LIDAR, surface flux measurements and sonic anemometry.