As part of my work for the Wind Energy and Turbulence Lab I was given a large dataset from the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm in Eastern Oregon which covered ten minute average wind speed and direction for 217 some turbines and meteorological masts for all of 2011.
|We visited the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm too! Pretty darn pretty!|
Originally to sort the data I wrote some loop heavy code that by my estimate (extrapolated tic toc) would take 6,000 some minutes to run... A few modifications later I got down to 2,000 minutes. Since this was still unacceptable, I set out to redo the code in a more linear index way, and got the run time down to 2.6 minutes! I was pretty proud of that.
Once I had the data sorted, I thought that I could get down to actually analyzing it, but I quickly realized that I had to learn some visualization techniques first to make sure the data actually made sense in its raw form of speed and direction. Some simple graphs, wind bins, and histograms showed a lot, but since the data was time and location based, I needed something more robust. I loaded up a USGS terrain elevation dataset, combined it with the tower coordinates, created a windspeed mesh colormap overlay, and started making movies MATLAB movies of the results. I'm not linking any movies, but here is a still frame.
|Windspeed in m/s on 2011-04-01 at 18:10|