As is known, wind is a renewable and non-polluting energy resource. In addition, there is no transportation problem in wind energy and it does not require very high technology for electricity generation. Wind turbines are used for electricity generation from kinetic energy of wind. In the point of power curves of these turbines, wind speed must be a certain band. Generally, they do not generate electricity cut-in wind speed that is between 0 and 4 m/s and cut out wind speed that is over 20-25 m/s. Over cut-out values cause breaking down of wind turbines, because high wind speeds create extra mechanical loads on them. Therefore, maximum/extreme winds and their estimation and prediction carry weight in terms of energy generation.
New European Wind Atlas (NEWA) is the project, within the scope of ERANET+ Program, and the attendants are Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey. The aim of NEWA is to present a new wind atlas to the wind industry. In this project, the physical model used for obtaining wind speeds is a numerical weather prediction model named Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF).
One of the methods, which are developed by imitating of biological properties of living forms in a virtual environment, is Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs). Stimulations taken from the environment by using sense organs are transmitted to brain whereby neurons in a body and brain makes a decision towards these stimulations. That is the working form of ANNs. Moreover, ANNs can be thought as a black box, which processes given data and produces outputs against inputs. Furthermore, they are a method of Artificial Intelligence.
In this study, maximum wind speeds of 4 different wind farms in Turkey were estimated by using a downscaling method based on ANNs and wind data which were produced in grid points of NEWA Project. Besides that, 8 different levels (10, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 250, and 500 m) for each wind farm were considered. As a result of determining the best ANN architectures with sensitivity analysis, it was seen that Levenberg-Marquardt Backpropagation (trainlm) approach as a training algorithm and 9 neurons in each layer are common traits of best ANN architectures. In addition, 50 m for 2 wind farms and 10 m with 75 m for others were determined as an optimum downscaling levels. Moreover, according to downscaling results, correlation values were calculated around 0.80.
Key Words: ANN, Downscaling, Maximum wind, NEWA, Turkey, Wind farm.