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Wind turbine and solar panels.

Weather and Energy Research Unit

Our Weather and Energy Research Unit has performed pioneering research aiding wind-farm and solar-energy adoption.

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CSIRO Black Mountain

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CSIRO Black Mountain
Namadgi School
Weetangera School
Wombat Hill (South East of Canberra in NSW)

Free hourly data

You will need to reference the data appropriately, but 1-hour average data are available for some of our sites:

WebbeR public data

If you need higher-resolution data you will need to contact us :-)

weru-info @ csiro.au

For ASEFS researchers and other research partners

WebbeR login
  • 23 December 2011 | Updated 23 May 2013

WebbeR data repository

The WebbeR data repository provides access to a range of data sets to aid researchers in developing models and systems to encourage the use of renewable energy in the Australian and international markets.

The data includes:

  • measured field data suitable for wind and solar energy modelling
  • electrical grid data
  • modelled data
  • extraction tools as part of the WREM (Weather and Renewable Energy Management) Toolkit identified as WREMtk

Developing solar forecast skills

With global warming a recognised environmental, social and economic concern, the development of science-based alternative forms of energy that are reliable, efficient and profitable is a national priority.

Our skills in weather downscaling, and grid integration, has allowed our Weather and Energy Research Unit (WERU) to move into the advanced modelling of atmospheric processes to understand the effect of solar production on the energy grid.

Unlike wind energy, there are competing solar technologies - solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal. Further, PV systems can be tracking and non-tracking. And, unlike wind energy farms, there is a significant amount of distributed solar (through roof-top PV) on the grid in Australia and overseas compared to centralised power plants. The time constants associated with the solar energy signal can be a lot shorter than the large scale wind power generators.

Identifying wind-energy opportunities for Australia

With global warming a recognised environmental, social and economic concern, the development of science-based alternative forms of energy that are reliable, efficient and profitable is a national priority.

Our Wind Energy Research Unit (WERU) has successfully identified significant areas of high wind-energy potential in Australia, and demonstrated the potential of wind as a renewable energy option for this country.

Expertise

As part of CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, WERU has used CSIRO’s core expertise in atmospheric measurement and modelling to locate potential wind-energy farm sites efficiently and cost-effectively (wind-energy prospecting).

It has also built on Bureau of Meteorology weather forecasts to predict the likely amount of energy each site may produce over a given time period (wind-energy forecasting).

WERU, led by Dr Alberto Troccoli, has applied boundary layer meteorology to better understand the complex interactions between the land and atmosphere.

In particular, WERU used the science of wind flow over topography - observations, theory and modelling - to develop expertise that is specific to Australian conditions.

The research has been fundamental to the establishment of an Australian wind energy industry.

Research activities

Current and future research is focussing on improving the forecasting of wind energy, especially in severe weather conditions where production can change rapidly.

Research is focussing on improving the forecasting of solar and wind energy.

A major focus through the Energy Transformed National Research Flagship is the development of innovative applications of storage technologies in the wind industry.

CSIRO-developed UltraBattery technology will help ‘smooth-out’ the highly variable output from wind farms, increasing powerline carrying capacity and reducing the need for alternative fast-response backup services.

Outcomes

WERU has:

  • extended their reputation in integrating fluctuating power signals on the electrical grid from wind to solar energy sources
  • become the recognised national expert group in wind energy resources, providing high-level advice and contractual research outcomes to industry and government
  • assisted in the selection of Australia’s first grid-connected wind farm in 1996, producing high-resolution ‘wind atlases’ for NSW and Victoria highlighting areas that could be developed as wind farms
  • demonstrated the potential for wind energy generation at selected inland locations, taking pressure off high-value coastal sites
  • provided clients with data from its wind-monitoring network of more than 90 towers throughout Australia and New Zealand
  • developed world-class models (Windscape, Raptor and RaptorNL) for predicting wind speed over topography under Australian conditions
  • established the spin-off company Windlab Systems in 2003, providing an excellent platform for CSIRO to deliver research outcomes for the benefit of the Australian industry, government and community
  • generated more than 200 consulting reports and publications for the Australian wind industry, local and overseas conferences and training courses.

Find out more about CSIRO's work with Renewables and smart systems.

Click WERU's CSIRO website to go to CSIRO's web site.

Fast facts

  • Our Weather and Energy Research Unit (WERU) has been instrumental in the location of wind farms in Australia through time series modelling of wind and energy forecasting
  • Skills in atmospheric modelling and downscaling will allow forecasting of solar energy production in local PV and concentrating facilities, as well as modelling associated with distributed systems
  • WERU has pioneered new research into forecasting, capturing and storing wind energy to help ensure consistent supply

Contact Information

Dr Simon Torok

Communication Manager

Phone: 61 3 9239 4645

Alt Phone: 61 4 0984 4302

Email: Simon.Torok@csiro.au

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