A milestone within the NEWA project has been reached: The mesoscale production runs which will form the backbone of the New European Wind Atlas have been launched on the supercomputer MareNostrum in Barcelona.
The New European Wind Atlas (NEWA) will be mainly based on mesoscale simulations with the weather model WRF. After a period of extensive preliminary tests and analyses the mesoscale team in NEWA decided on a final setup for the mesoscale production runs and launched the first production runs on the supercomputer MareNostrum in Barcelona. The wind conditions of the past 30 years are simulated throughout Europe, including all EU countries, Turkey, the entire North and Baltic Seas and further offshore areas (100 km off the coastline). With a resolution of 3 km in space and 30 min in time a tremendous amount of some 6 Petabytes of raw model data is produced. As it is not feasible to store the data, the raw data will be discarded and only heavily post-processed and reduced data will be permanently stored – still an impressive amount of some 180 Terabytes of data.
The production runs are estimated to need about six months for completion – a normal desktop computer would need about 1,600 years.
Once the mesoscale wind atlas is complete, the data will be downscaled to 50 m resolution by using the WaSP generalized wind methodology. A WRF multi-physics ensemble will provide information about uncertainties. Furthermore, information about extreme winds will be derived from the mesoscale and downscaled data. Another component of NEWA is an open-source model chain based on WRF and OpenFOAM (beta version already released). The final NEWA database will also include the data of several large field experiments performed during the project.
See also the press release by ForWind/University of Oldenburg in Germany (https://www.forwind.de/presse/news/windatlas/) and its English translation:
Scientists calculate Europe’s most windy regions
New European Wind Atlas will show the best locations for wind farms
Where can you find enough wind for a wind farm? Scientists from the University of Oldenburg at the Center for Wind Energy Research (ForWind) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES in cooperation with their European colleagues calculate the windiest regions of Europe. The extensive simulations as part of the international research project NEWA (New European Wind Atlas) have recently started. The atlas will provide an accurate picture of Europe’s wind energy potential and assistance with the search for optimal locations for new wind farms. Researchers from eight countries are involved. The atlas is intended to replace its almost 30-year-old precursor.
Using a weather model, the researchers simulate the wind conditions of the past 30 years throughout Europe – to an accuracy of three kilometers. The calculations on the European supercomputer “MareNostrum” in Barcelona will probably take six months – a normal PC would need about 1,600 years. “With the start of the wind atlas calculations we have reached a milestone in the NEWA project. This is the result of extensive preliminary work in which we tested many different model settings and compared them with measurement data,” says ForWind scientist Dr. Björn Witha, who is significantly involved in the simulations on the German side.
The wind atlas is to be published in mid-2019 and will be available online free of charge to all interested users. For each point in Europe they can then get information about the long-term wind climate: interactive maps, time series and statistics of wind speed and other wind energy relevant parameters at various altitudes. “The range and accuracy of the New European Wind Atlas will provide a new basis for planning the wind energy use in Europe,” says Dr. Bernhard Lange, IWES scientist and coordinator of the German consortium within NEWA.
The international NEWA project started in 2015 and will receive a total of 13.5 million euros for four years from national funding programs in the partner countries and EU funds. In Germany, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is involved. The project results should contribute to reducing the costs of electricity generation from wind farms.