Monday, June 3, 2013

Wind Potential – All About the Data

Wind Potential – All About the Data
Amy Malloy 
May 22, 2013

When it comes to the deployment of wind power, data plays an important role in the design and operations of a wind farm. Is there enough wind? Where should the turbines be placed? How will the placement of turbines impact performance? Are the turbines in need of maintenance? Data collected from technologically advanced monitoring devices answers these questions. Data analysis helps to advance wind power as a renewable energy source.

Met Tower

The initial planning of a wind farm begins with selection of the proper location, not surprisingly, where wind resources are abundant. Wind resource assessment is the process by which a developer estimates future energy production from a wind farm. Research often begins with maps published by government agencies. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a desirable location will have an average wind speed of at least 9-10 mph. A preliminary site is then selected for on-site data collection. A meteorological tower (met tower) is installed to measure wind speed (with an anemometer), wind direction (using a weather vane), temperature, pressure, and relative humidity. Details, such as elevation and time of day, are factored in as well. Data from the met tower is collected for a minimum of about one year to determine the economic feasibility of a project.

Terrain Analysis and Wind Modeling

An in-depth analysis of the terrain on a possible wind farm site is performed using sophisticated digital elevation data and provides information for planning new infrastructure, calculations for prediction of wind conditions, and helping to minimize contact with bats and bird species. Aerial photography is coupled with digital elevation data to produce 3D visualizations, including line-of-sight perspectives to illustrate what the wind farm will look like from different viewpoints. Terrain data is also a primary input in software used to extrapolate wind climate statistics and create wind flow models to predict wind farm production and efficiency.

Comment by Anumakonda Jagadeesh

In their mad rush to avail incentives like 100 % depreciation many wind turbines were installed in India in the past whose performance was not up to the mark. The main draw back was reliable wind data. In the power equation wind velocity is having cubic relation. other factors remaining constant it is wind velocity,wind velocity alone that determines the economic feasibility of the project. Modern wind measuring techniques going up to hub heights of the wind turbines need to be carried out in different countries so that reliable and potential wind sites can be located.

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