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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exploration of the potential for gene expression programming to solve some problems in meteorology and renewable energy Bakhshaii Shahrbabaki, Atoossa


This dissertation describes research to enhance hydrometeorological forecasts and their application towards clean energy. The secondary objective of this research is exploration of a new evolutionary algorithm as a possible statistical tool to describe some nonlinear aspects of the atmosphere. The products of this work are summarized in four chapters. Motivated by the difficulty in forecasting montane precipitation for hydroelectricity, a novel model output statistical method is introduced to improve numerical daily precipitation forecasts. The proposed method is gene expression programming (GEP). It is used to create a bias-corrected ensemble, called a deterministic ensemble forecast (DEF), which could serve as an alternative to the traditional ensemble average. Comparing the verification scores of GEP DEF vs. an equally- weighted (traditional) ensemble-average DEF, it is found that GEP DEFs were better for about half of the mountain weather stations tested. The need for an enhanced electric load forecasting model with better connections to weather variables is addressed next. GEP is used to forecast relative load minima during nighttime and mid- day, and relative load maxima in the morning and evening. A different method is introduced to use GEP to forecast electric load for the next hour. These methods are verified against independent data for a year of daily load forecasts, and are compared against the operational load forecasts archived by BC Hydro, British Columbia’s largest electric utility company. Also, GEP is used to parametrize two non-iterative approximations for saturated pseudoadiabats (also known as moist adiabats). One approximation determines which moist adiabat passes through a point of known pressure and temperature, such as through the lifting condensation level on a skew- T or tephigram. The other approximation determines the air temperature at any pressure along a known moist adiabat, such as the final temperature of a rising cloudy air parcel. This work can be used to better predict cloudy convection in the atmosphere, which can cause hazardous wind gusts at wind turbines, and can drop heavy precipitation in hydroelectric watersheds.

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