Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WIND PRODUCTION IN ONTARIO

The Liberal Government, through it's Green Energy Act, wants more wind turbines in Ontario, and ramming through as many as it can as fast as it can. When a wind farm is proposed, the wind operator will claim that so many megawatts of capacity are going to be installed.

That number they give is the name plate capacity of all the turbines combined. That is, a 1.5mW turbine has a capacity of 1.5 megaWatts. That's the name plate. But it is a lie to claim that is what the turbines will produce. It gets you thinking that that number, the "capacity" is what they will deliver. They don't want you to know what the real output is.

When pressed, they will claim that the output from wind is 27% of name plate for Ontario, referred to as the "capacity value".

Now what does that mean to you? Do you get the impression that most of the time wind production is 27% of name plate? That most production is around that 27% most of the time? Well, if that is what you think, you are quite wrong, and shows how grossly misleading that 27% is. Again, a tactic to make you think wind power is viable.

In a normal distribution curve, a bell curve, the average is the apex of the top of the bell curve. Thus the average would also be the most number of hours. All values on either side are evenly distributed around that average. That means that the number of hours at 40% name plate would be the same as the number of hours at 14%.

In a normal distribution curve another number is vital to know, and that's the Standard Deviation. The SD is the measure of the width of the bottom of the curve. The smaller the SD the narrower the bottom of the bell, the larger the wider the bottom. The SD is added and subtracted from the average to get the upper and lower standard deviations. 68% of all values fall within the USD and LSD. Values above and below the second Standard Deviation are considered rare. 95% of all values fall inside the second Standard Deviation.

Not once have I ever seen the Standard Deviation mentioned in wind output, even though it is a vital number to know.

There is only one way to find out what is actually going on since the wind industry is unwilling to share the real numbers with the public.

I downloaded the hourly data from 11-apr-2010 to 8-jul-2010 for the entire fleet of wind turbines in Ontario, this is what I get when I plot the number of hours at each percent name plate:



The area under the graph is the total hours within that date range. Notice how the plot is skewed to the lower percents of name plate. That is, more hours wind output is at the lower ends of percent name plate.

Things change if the bell shape is skewed. You can see the graph shows significant skewness. In fact, it is very significant. The skewness of that graph was 1.28. Skewness is zero in a normal distribution. When skewed, the average loses all meaning. The important number on a skewed distribution is the median.

The median is 13% of name plate, half the average. In a skewed graph the Standard Deviation is added and subtracted from the median, not the average. The Standard Deviation is huge, 28%. That means the upper SD is 41% name plate. Thus 68% of all the hourly output numbers are below 41% name plate. The upper second SD is 69%, making any hits above that rare events.

Hence average in a skewed plot is completely meaningless, and not the most number of hours. In fact, only 1.3% of the hours is output at 27%. Thus the capacity factor should not be the average but should be the median, a more physically realistic measure of output.

Since the skewness makes the median almost half the average, then I would suspect that the actual capacity value is not 27% but in fact somewhere between 13 and 15% of name plate.

This is the table of data that gives that graph.

% Name plate

Hours

% of Total

Total Hours: 2136

Accum
% total

0%

30

1.4%

30

1%

1%

48

2.2%

78

4%

2%

49

2.3%

127

6%

3%

61

2.9%

188

9%

4%

48

2.2%

236

11%

5%

75

3.5%

311

15%

6%

69

3.2%

380

18%

7%

77

3.6%

457

21%

8%

76

3.6%

533

25%

9%

61

2.9%

594

28%

10%

72

3.4%

666

31%

11%

53

2.5%

719

34%

12%

70

3.3%

789

37%

13%

59

2.8%

848

40%

14%

66

3.1%

914

43%

15%

54

2.5%

968

45%

16%

54

2.5%

1022

48%

17%

37

1.7%

1059

50%

18%

37

1.7%

1096

51%

19%

36

1.7%

1132

53%

20%

62

2.9%

1194

56%

21%

32

1.5%

1226

57%

22%

40

1.9%

1266

59%

23%

37

1.7%

1303

61%

24%

41

1.9%

1344

63%

25%

41

1.9%

1385

65%

26%

35

1.6%

1420

66%

27%

28

1.3%

1448

68%

28%

29

1.4%

1477

69%

29%

27

1.3%

1504

70%

30%

34

1.6%

1538

72%

31%

26

1.2%

1564

73%

32%

19

0.9%

1583

74%

33%

22

1.0%

1605

75%

34%

27

1.3%

1632

76%

35%

15

0.7%

1647

77%

36%

18

0.8%

1665

78%

37%

19

0.9%

1684

79%

38%

17

0.8%

1701

80%

39%

23

1.1%

1724

81%

40%

18

0.8%

1742

82%

41%

21

1.0%

1763

83%

42%

18

0.8%

1781

83%

43%

17

0.8%

1798

84%

44%

14

0.7%

1812

85%

45%

18

0.8%

1830

86%

46%

16

0.7%

1846

86%

47%

17

0.8%

1863

87%

48%

19

0.9%

1882

88%

49%

16

0.7%

1898

89%

50%

12

0.6%

1910

89%

51%

11

0.5%

1921

90%

52%

12

0.6%

1933

90%

53%

7

0.3%

1940

91%

54%

14

0.7%

1954

91%

55%

14

0.7%

1968

92%

56%

10

0.5%

1978

93%

57%

10

0.5%

1988

93%

58%

11

0.5%

1999

94%

59%

9

0.4%

2008

94%

60%

6

0.3%

2014

94%

61%

10

0.5%

2024

95%

62%

4

0.2%

2028

95%

63%

6

0.3%

2034

95%

64%

6

0.3%

2040

96%

65%

10

0.5%

2050

96%

66%

9

0.4%

2059

96%

67%

7

0.3%

2066

97%

68%

7

0.3%

2073

97%

69%

6

0.3%

2079

97%

70%

5

0.2%

2084

98%

71%

2

0.1%

2086

98%

72%

2

0.1%

2088

98%

73%

5

0.2%

2093

98%

74%

5

0.2%

2098

98%

75%

7

0.3%

2105

99%

76%

2

0.1%

2107

99%

77%

4

0.2%

2111

99%

78%

2

0.1%

2113

99%

79%

3

0.1%

2116

99%

80%

4

0.2%

2120

99%

81%

0

0.0%

2120

99%

82%

2

0.1%

2122

99%

83%

5

0.2%

2127

100%

84%

3

0.1%

2130

100%

85%

2

0.1%

2132

100%

86%

1

0.0%

2133

100%

87%

2

0.1%

2135

100%

88%

1

0.0%

2136

100%

89%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

90%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

91%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

92%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

93%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

94%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

95%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

96%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

97%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

98%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

99%

0

0.0%

2136

100%

100%

0

0.0%

2136

100%


Notice the accumulative percent of hours in the right column. Go to the 50% mark. Then read what the name plate percent is. This means that 50% of the time output is less than 18% of name plate!

So the claim of wind output from capacity is wrong, they never produce at capacity. Wind providers will claim that no source of power produces at 100% name plate. This is true. But guess what? Our nuke plants run at between 94 and 98% name plate, and they do that 24/7. Far cry from the less than 18% fifty percent of the time.

How would you like if your car got mileage at less than 18% of it's rated mileage 50% of the time?
Their fall back number, the capacity value, of 27% is also grossly misleading as well as it does not tell you how many hours the production is at each name plate.

The entire public is badly misinformed, deliberately, by the wind industry. This is basic high school statistics. Those in the industry must know this, or they are incompetent. I doubt they are that. This means the wind industry is deliberately keeping the most important numbers of production from public view. The reason why is simple, it would expose how pathetic wind output really is.

The hourly production with the median, skewness and Standard Deviation is crucial to know, deliberately leaving this out is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.

And you are paying for that deception in your electrical bills.

Time to put an end to this.

26 comments:

  1. The click to expand is not working Richard.

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, fixed it. No need to click on it now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't been very mathematical in years and am slightly rusty! At any rate I am grateful for people like you going over the wind industry's fictitious numbers and reporting the facts as they should be reported. Too bad our MSM won't pick up on this. McGuinty seems to have successfully gagged them too! This obfuscation of theirs leads me to ask you what your thoughts and interpretations might be on Toronto Hydro's recent postings of their anemometer's wind reporting in Lake Ontario. Obviously they're trying to sell us folks a bill of goods and the writing is on the wall for a string of wind turbines from Scarborough Bluffs to Ajax. Here is Toronto Hydro's link to their reported average monthly windspeeds: http://www.torontohydroenergy.com/pdf/Research%20Platform%20July2010.pdf
    All this is too suspect for me and believe with your math skills, this could be exposed for what it truly is.....a huge SCAM!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Re: Toronto Hydro's link to their reported average monthly windspeeds

    6.4 and 5.6 m/s are pathetic. If they expect to get anything near 25% name plate they are dreaming in technicolour.

    Also, the plan is to build the larger 3mW turbines. They produce almost twice the power at any given wind speed. Problem is, they require a start up speed higher than the land based 1.5mW. Which means those 3mW turbines will be idle more often with such low windspeed.

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