WInd Farm Planning Tool

Adding data to the map, in particular when it comes to individual turbines has to be relatively quick and easy.  Actually adding turbines can be  quite cathartic, especially where the locations are easy. I’m adding the 40 or so turbines proposed for Strathy South in between writing this.

Proposed Strathy South Wind Turbines

It is a very simple point and click operation with the turbine data coming from the base project information, adding them to the map includes elevation and latitude / longitude along with the ability to modify the individual turbine in detail. ie it can be one of many all the same or unique. Projects and individual turbines are cross-referenced to a standard list of wind turbines each with their characteristics, so, rather than having to add to much detail, simply stating the turbine make and model is the cross reference to start, optimum and stop speeds along with data showing capacity and output based on wind speed.

Showing Calculated Wind Farm Output

Once the turbines are added, the map can then show calculated output for the project based on wind speed, actual and forecast that is downloaded routinely from the met office, in fact there is a growing history of wind strengths and direction for the UK that can be applied to the wind projects.

Test wind speeds can also be  applied to a wind farm.

Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm with forecast output and output test based on input wind speed

While I don’t have access to real output based on wind speed, the software to develop a balancing factor based on real output taking into account turbine characteristics, elevation, wind speed and direction would be fairly straightforward.

Wind Farm Forecasting Tool

Which means that it would be equally straightforward to develop a virtual wind farm with any number and type of turbine, then apply test wind speeds giving a realistic view of what the output might be throughout the year.

The additional benefit would be the “virtual” wind farm can be seen in the context of existing wind farms close by. Any dwellings, roads and other structures can be seen, and using either or all of OS maps, Google maps and satellite views, the impact can be easily seen.

If this is a wind farm that is going to go into the “proposed” or planning stage, the farm can be easily publicised showing the real proposal rather than a variation proposed by the anti lobby gaining credence.

I haven’t got to the point of showing the wind farms and turbines as an elevation with the correct sizes, but again, that is just a matter of coding, the location and elevation data is stored.

How easy would this be and how would it work in practice?

At the time of writing, the detail has to be developed, however the hard part of the software is complete and used routinely.

Screen shot of turbine entry routine: point ;add; save; point; add; save

Screen shot of turbine entry routine: add; point ;save;  add;point; save

I would see a relatively simple routine whereby a developer using the renewables map in the manner proposed above would have their own password protected login.

They would then be able to create projects in exactly the same way as renewable energy projects that are in the public domain are created, however they would be tagged as private to that login, maybe access limited to an IP?

The created project would then exist within the database under the control of the user, it might be left as a private project, modified so it was made public and part of the map or maybe public but only through a particular URL? Maybe deleted.

How much would this sort of thing cost?

Judging by other projects I have been involved in, ask for a quote from a consultant for much the same, then take a zero off!

Please feel free to contact me about this using one of the contact forms on the map.

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