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Using atmospheric inputs for Artificial Neural Networks to improve wind turbine power prediction


  • Nielson, Jordan
  • Bhaganagar, Kiran
  • Meka, Rajitha
  • Alaeddini, Adel


A robust machine learning methodology is used to generate a site-specific power-curve of a full-scale isolated wind turbine operating in an atmospheric boundary layer to drastically improve the power predictions, and, thus, the forecasting of the monthly energy production estimates. The study has important implication in measuring the financial feasibility of wind farms by improving the accuracy of monthly energy estimates. The significance of the study is that atmospheric stability and air-density are accounted in the power predictions of the wind turbine. Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) machine learning approach is used to generate multi-parameter input models to estimate the power produced by the wind turbine. The ANN model in this study uses Feed Forward Back Propagation (FFBP) algorithm. The power- and wind-data is obtained from a 2.5 MW wind turbine that has a Meteorological tower located 900 m Southwest of the wind turbine in Kirkwood, Iowa, USA. The study investigates the role of atmospheric boundary-layer metrics – Wind Speed, Density (a measure of stratification), Richardson Number, turbulence intensity, and wind shear as input parameters into the ANN model. The study investigates the influence of FFBP ANN hyper-parameters on the power prediction accuracy. Comparison of the FFBP ANN model to other power curve correction techniques demonstrated an improvement in the Mean Absolute Error (MAE) of 40% when compared to the density correction (the next closest). The five-parameter 4-layer FFBP ANN has an average energy production error of 0.4% for the nine months while the IEC this error is −3.7% and for the air density correction the error is −1.9%, respectively. Finally, the study determines the performance of the FFBP ANN model for different atmospheric stability regimes (Unstable, Stable, Strongly Stable, Strongly Unstable and Neutral) classified using two criterions - Richardson number and Turbulence intensity. The largest MAE occurs during the strongly stable regime of the atmospheric boundary layer for both criteria.

Suggested Citation

  • Nielson, Jordan & Bhaganagar, Kiran & Meka, Rajitha & Alaeddini, Adel, 2020. "Using atmospheric inputs for Artificial Neural Networks to improve wind turbine power prediction," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:190:y:2020:i:c:s0360544219319681
    DOI: 10.1016/

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