IBM Big Data Analytics Powers Renewable Energy Forecasting System
IBM announced a new system, known as Hybrid Renewable Energy Forecasting (HyRef), which uses big data analytics to predict the availability of renewable energy.IBM asserts its big data prominence once again, this time in a new system from IBM Research to help bring more renewable energy to the power grid by predicting the availability of such energy. IBM announced an advanced power- and weather-modeling technology that will help utilities increase the reliability of renewable energy resources. The solution combines weather prediction and analytics to accurately forecast the availability of wind power and solar energy. This will enable utilities to integrate more renewable energy into the power grid, helping to reduce carbon emissions while improving clean energy output. The solution, called "Hybrid Renewable Energy Forecasting" (HyRef), uses weather modeling capabilities, advanced cloud imaging technology and sky-facing cameras to track cloud movements, while sensors on the turbines monitor wind speed, temperature and direction, IBM said. When combined with analytics technology, the data-assimilation-based solution can produce accurate local weather forecasts within a wind farm as far as one month in advance, or in 15-minute increments, according to Big Blue. Using local weather forecasts, HyRef can predict the performance of each individual wind turbine and estimate the amount of generated renewable energy. This level of insight will enable utilities to better manage the variable nature of wind and solar, and more accurately forecast the amount of power that can be redirected into the power grid or stored. It will also allow energy organizations to easily integrate other conventional sources such as coal and natural gas, IBM said.
"Utilities around the world are employing a host of strategies to integrate new renewable energy resources into their operating systems in order to reach a baseline goal of a 25 percent renewable energy mix globally by 2025," said Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, president and CEO of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), in a statement. "The weather modeling and forecasting data generated from HyRef will significantly improve this process and, in turn, put us one step closer to maximizing the full potential of renewable resources."