Sandia’s Wind Turbine–Radar Interference (WT/RI) program has been investigating both wind turbines and radars for techniques to help mitigate the radar-interference issue:

  • investigating materials and techniques to reduce the radar cross section (RCS) of a wind turbine blade;
  • characterize the impact of wind turbines on current air surveillance radars, assess new technologies for near-term mitigation, and develop long-term strategies and reduce the barrier for wind-energy deployment; and
  • developing a framework that allows users to analyze potential impacts of proposed wind projects on radar systems.

These efforts utilize expertise from Sandia’s Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Sensor Technologies Department as well as a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory.

Siting & Barrier Mitigation Projects

As part of the DOE’s Wind Turbine–Radar Interference Mitigation (WTRIM) program Sandia has been investigating both wind turbines and radars for techniques to help mitigate the radar-interference issue:

  • investigating materials and techniques to reduce the radar cross section (RCS) of a wind turbine blade;
  • characterizing the impact of wind turbines on current air surveillance radars, assess new technologies for near-term mitigation, and develop long-term strategies and reduce the barrier for wind-energy deployment; and
  • developing a framework that allows users to analyze potential impacts of proposed wind projects on radar systems.

These efforts utilize expertise from Sandia’s Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Sensor Technologies Department as well as a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory.

The Department of Energy and Sandia National Laboratories are continuing to fully understand the effects of wind turbines on the environment in which they are placed, to identify the barriers in the way of renewable-energy development, and to suggest mitigation solutions to these barriers where available. The effort to develop accurate wind turbine-radar interference models will ultimately improve the understanding of their impact, and allow viable paths to increase wind-energy deployment across the US.

As part of this effort Sandia and its partners have developed the Tool for Siting, Planning, and Encroachment Analysis for Renewables (TSPEAR). The TSPEAR toolkit supports energy development interests including developers, consultants, and government agency users, who desire to design, analyze, track progress, and maintain configuration control of energy projects. The TSPEAR framework uses databases that already exist and are developed and maintained by other organizations.

Sandia National Laboratories’ Wind Grid Integration Program seeks to remove barriers to wind energy grid integration and accelerate deployment to enable a higher penetration of the nation’s electricity to come from wind. As more wind power plants interconnect with the electric power system, it becomes increasingly important that they are properly modeled in power system simulations. Sandia’s grid integration research focuses on the development and validation of these planning models for wind power plants. Generic, standard and publicly available models have not been readily available to the regional reliability organizations and grid operators who are responsible for maintaining the grid.

The effort to develop and maintain standard public dynamic simulation models for the purpose of power system analysis has a wide industry reach. From the transmission planners who need the models for their mission to the wind manufacturers that own detailed proprietary models to the power system simulation software modelers who implement the models, this work requires significant collaboration among many entities.

Sandia continues to be a leader and contributor in several industry-wide efforts aiming to fulfill the need for generic, standard, publicly available renewable generation models for planning studies, most notebaly the Renewable Energy Modeling Task Force of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) and IEC TC 88 WG27 wind generation modeling working group.

The Wind Grid Integration program also draws from Sandia’s expertise in related disciplines such as photovoltaic, energy storage, advanced controls, and electric power systems research, and is an integral part of Sandia’s larger portfolio of renewable energy technology programs (Wind, Concentrating Solar Power, Geothermal, and Energy Systems Analysis).