Zephyr is using proven and established technology in ways that are unique to the renewable energy sphere. The technology forms the backbone of our unique business model and enables a disruptive development methodology.
Numeric Weather Prediction
Developed for our use by Atmospheric Modeller Dr. Elizabeth Donnell, numerical weather prediction (NWP), allows us to accurately select sites optimal for wind or solar power generation at a far earlier stage than traditional methods.
NWP predicts atmospheric variables by solving dynamical equations of the atmosphere, referred to specified points on a grid. It may be used to predict future weather based on current or past information and to predict how that weather could change based on environmental conditions such as vegetation growth, seasons or conditions such as drought. NWP can also predict the time that a site is likely to have wind or sun and to what degree with a high degree of accuracy.
Designed to be a flexible atmospheric simulation system that is portable and efficient, it is suitable for use in a broad range of applications across scales ranging from meters to thousands of kilometres. NWP uses a Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) and National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). It has a proven track record and is run operationally at Weatherzone, NCEP, NOAA, AFWA and by the FAA.
NWP enables us to view wind at all heights and locations around a site, not restricting data to a lidar site or Met Mast. The model takes into account topography, water bodies, vegetation and soil types. It is also much faster. Site specific weather data which could take up to 5 years to gather from a Met Mast location can generally be completed in about a month.
In a nutshell, we are able to predict very quickly and with a high degree of accuracy, not only how much wind and solar power could be captured at a site, but also at what times.
This enables us to select sites for renewable energy developments tailored to address local requirements in the grid. This use of Technology is absolutely unique to Zephyr.
Advanced Geographic Information System (GIS) studies
We’ve merged GIS with NWP, advanced sensors and thermal imaging. We’re able to plan our developments around sensitive areas before substantial development risk has been assumed.
A geographic information system is a framework for gathering, managing and analyzing data. GIS analyzes spatial location and organizes layers of information into visualizations using maps and 3D scenes.
GIS is an established technology used across many industries worldwide. It is routinely used to gather data in the renewable energy sector during the ‘feasibility’ stage of development. Zephyr, in collaboration with our strategic partners, is taking GIS to a whole new level.
Zephyr is adding Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) data to the traditional GIS data layers map enabling us to view detailed weather profiles in addition to the standard layers (at right). Overlaying our NWP data over the traditional data sets enables us to begin detailed site layout planning far earlier than typical projects.
Additionally, our use of advanced sensors, scanners and thermal imagers can detect vegetation types and individual wildlife species, creating a new overlay for our GIS.
With this sensing technology, we can identify individual trees, plants and resident fauna on a potential site, identifying areas with threatened species, nesting birds or other sensitive areas in scans which take place early on in the development process.
This dramatically reduces risk to investors. By the time a large capital outlay is required, we’ve already sidestepped most potential environmental roadblocks.
Revolutionising the way renewable energy is created in Australia.