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CEIC-06-01

"The Spectrum of Power from Wind Turbines"

Jay Apt

Abstract:
The power spectral density of the output of wind turbines can provide information on the character of fluctuations in turbine output. Here both one second and one hour samples are used to estimate the power spectrum of several wind farms. The measured output power follows a Kolmogorov spectrum over more than four orders of magnitude, from 30 seconds to 2.6 days. The spectrum constrains the character of fill-in power which must be provided to compensate for wind's fluctuations when wind is deployed at large scale. Installing enough linear ramp rate generation to fill in fast fluctuations with amplitudes of 1% of the maximum fluctuation would oversize the fill-in generation capacity by a factor of two for slower fluctuations.
A more efficient solution is feasible.

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