2022 – OpenOA software improvements shed light on wind turbine performance

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released version 2.3 of its Open Operational Assessment (OpenOA) program, which helps wind turbine operators demystify wind turbine operations.

Version 2.3 of the NREL OpenOA program includes a variety of updates and incorporates a wind turbine layout visualization developed with the help of the wind turbine owner. Photography by Dennis Schroeder

This latest release includes an improved toolkit for quality control of operational data, hourly energy production calculation, and automatic date selection for long-term reference data. Version 2.3 also includes a wind turbine layout visualization feature for creating interactive maps of wind farms, developed with the help of the wind turbine owner.

ÔÇťOpenOA 2.3 includes important improvements designed to improve the usability of open source software,ÔÇŁ said NREL researcher Jason Fields, who leads the project team that includes Eric Semley, Nicola Bodini, Jordan Beer Sauer and Rob Hammond. “The latest release is a direct result of the OpenOA user community’s suggestion of updates that will be critical to the usefulness of the software.”

Crowdsourcing leads to the first tool of its kind

OpenOA was launched in 2019 as an open source data-sharing platform to advance state-of-the-art operational energy assessments and address the lack of standardization in the wind industry. The modular structure of the blade facilitates collaboration and exchange of methods between professionals in the wind industry.

Since the launch of OpenOA, more than 100 users have starred the software repository (a procedure similar to bookmarking a web page or liking a post on social media). In addition, more than 40 developers have started various forks or software repositories that allow users to modify the code for their own purposes without breaking the original code.

The latest version also integrates data from third-party providers for the first time. Although the sun will set in August 2022, Intertrust’s PlanetOS Weather Data API or API provides OpenOA users with the weather data needed to estimate the long-term energy production of wind turbines.

ÔÇťOpenOA has benefited from a community of users whose experiences have improved the software over time,ÔÇŁ Fields said. “As a free, non-proprietary software, OpenOA has taken a crowdsourcing approach to reporting its development.”

This unique tool standardizes operational analysis of wind turbines and includes an integrated method for calculating expected annual energy production over the life of a project. OpenOA’s Long-Term Annual Energy Production Analysis can help wind turbine operators identify and analyze factors affecting turbine performance, determine the accuracy of pre-construction energy productivity estimates, and assist with wind turbine financial transactions.

To identify the specific causes of differences between pre-construction energy production ratings and operational energy productionÔÇöthe so-called gap analysisÔÇöOpenOA provides methods for estimating electrical losses, availability losses, and the power of an ideal turbine (power produced assuming all turbines are operating normally).

DOE programs led to the development of OpenOA

A validation exercise for energy assessments prior to the construction of wind farms by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Benchmark Initiative for Wind Turbine Performance and Forecasting led to the development of OpenOA. The benchmark project provided user feedback from eight major wind turbine owners and 10 external consultants. Last year, the NREL OpenOA team released a file Wind Turbine Stage 1 Performance Prediction Standard A technical report details this story.

He also helped shape OpenOA 2.0, Energy I-Corps, a specialized training program from the Department of Energy that provides national laboratory teams with the tools, resources, and relationships needed to explore potential commercial avenues for their innovations. Energy I-Corps has given NREL researchers the opportunity to collaborate with and receive user feedback from approximately 70 stakeholders, including wind turbine owners/operators, external consultants, analytics firms, open source software experts and researchers.

The Technology Marketing Fund’s DOE project currently enables the OpenOA project team to collaborate with the ENTR Alliance, the wind energy industry consortium. The goal of this project is to develop an easy-to-use data analysis software package that combines standard analysis methods for operational wind turbine data in OpenOA with the global wind turbine data model ENTR. This research supported the development of PlanetOS features.

The OpenOA team is also developing a method for estimating wind turbine alert loss and improving the user experience by simplifying the data import process and allowing more options for data sources.

The OpenOA code base, written in the popular Python programming language, is available on GitHub. We welcome external users to contribute to OpenOA by providing feedback, suggesting new features that improve the functionality of the toolkit, and developing new methods for evaluating data.

Learn more about wind energy research and tools at NREL. And subscribe to the NREL Wind Energy newsletter for the latest updates like these.

Article courtesy of US Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). by Carol Lowry


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