SIFT key tool in LR’s South Africa energy yield validation study.

A few days ago, the Energy Resource team at Lloyd’s Register ("LR") released a white-paper on an energy production validation study for six wind farms in South Africa, pitting the pre-construction energy yield assessments undertaken in 2012 against data recorded at the now operational wind farms. You can get your copy of the paper directly from LR here.

At Lindahl HQ we have a keen interest in yield assessments and love anything related to data and operating projects, so we have of course been rootling through the process and results. While it was a bit disappointing (but perhaps not surprising) to see that we as an industry still have a habit of over-egging our pre-construction yield assessments by a few percent, the overall messages were that SA predictions are as good as those in established markets and, most importantly, we are learning – modelling is improving, biases are being shrunk, and confidence intervals tightened.

The team behind the white-paper was one of the first adopters of SIFT and they have been providing valuable feedback to us in the development process leading up to the release of v1.0 a couple of months ago. It was great to learn that SIFT was a key ingredient for crunching the 850 turbine-years of 10-minute statistics that underpins the study. We had a chat with David Pullinger, Technical Lead at LR and the lead author of the white-paper, to learn a bit more about how they approach the analysis of such a large data set:

"With this work it was really important to be able to perform a consistent analysis across each of the different wind farms – not a straightforward task with data from five different wind turbine manufacturers. Having been an early adopter of SIFT this has allowed us to develop a set of robust and consistent procedures that work for any turbine model that we see ensuring that the results are directly and fairly comparable. The ability to compare across turbine models directly has been of particular value to this type of bench-marking study and of real interest to the project owners who all wanted to know how their project compared to the other operational wind farms.

SIFT allows us to quickly visualise and intuitively manipulate the data, reducing our analysis time by at least a factor of 3 compared to how we worked before. The standardised outputs then fit neatly into our various other tools and reporting which we use to turn what we’ve seen within the analysis tool into actions for our clients. It also has the added benefits of being really quick to train our analysts on and easy quality assurance on the outputs we produce. "

This really fits with our mission of facilitating your genius: SIFT isn’t a black box that does some unexplained analysis for you; it’s much better - it allows you and your smart colleagues to quickly develop and apply unique analysis processes that helps your organisation stand out, that helps you to create something that really adds value for your organisation and your customers.

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