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National Aerospace Laboratories(NAL) of India launches ‘Varsha’-wind prediction software

According to reports, energy sector professionals and officials from across the state gathered in the city on Saturday to discuss latest developments in wind forecasting at a one day seminar organised by the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) in association with National Aerospace Laboratories(NAL) and the Centre for Study of Science Technology and Policy (C-Step).

The inaugural session featured ‘Varsha’ which is a wind prediction software developed by NAL capable of making predictions upto 24 hours in advance. “Wind energy is perhaps the most mature industry but due to variable supply levels, it is difficult to incorporate it into our existing system of large grids,” said Dr Kota Harinarayana, DRDO Scientist.

“Varsha is customized for the tropical climate in India. It is also capable of making monthly forecasts. It runs on a supercomputer capable of 10 Teraflops per second. Our forecasts go to the Prime Ministers Office,” said Shyam Chetty, Director NAL.

Appreciating the wind energy sector, Ravi Kumar,MD, KPTCL discussed how 1000MW of power from the wind energy sector had kept the state from plunging into a deep energy crisis in September. “The generation dropped to 100 MW in the last week of September and we all saw the results,” he said speaking about the power crisis that the state went through at the time which led to load shedding.

Stressing on the reliability of wind prediction AR Upadhya, Former Director of NAL said, “Proper prediction is important to ensure grid reliability as well. Ten per cent of the current 160 GW generated in the country is being met by Wind Energy sources.” This assumes special significance in light of the upcoming Indian Electricity Grid Code for the next year which seeks to make wind energy generators responsible for wind forecasting.

The seminar also went on to include panel discussions on the technical aspects of Nowcasting, which is a current estimation of wind trends and a session on Grid management. The speakers included officials from various energy related departments in the state.

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