Wind assessment is termed as the process of prediction, determination and monitoring of wind resources and is done to check the speed and pressure of the wind at a particular site. Wind resource; being environmental friendly in nature is considered as one of the most stipulating renewable energy.
Wind assessments are often helpful in gaining financial support and confidence to the investors in a particular project. They provide an elaborate understanding of wind resources available and can set high expectations for the project. But the real purpose of wind assessment will only be achieved when the wind assessment is done with proper planning and detailed study. Your plan should give high priority to the measurement parameters, the right type of equipment, its cost and above all high quality. You should also be well-known of the location and site and most important of all; your data must be calculated and handled with expertise.
With the help of wind site assessment, developers predict the potential of a wind farm. A wind farm consists of windmills or turbines that are used to produce electrical power through wind.
The first wind farm was developed in the late 19th century, which then resulted in the process of wind assessment. A slight difference in the speed of the wind may make give a big impact on the power of the wind because the power of the wind is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. This process of wind assessment is not only risky , but is also very crucial as a slight change in the speed or direction of wind may have a very significant financial impact on the project.
The direction of the wind is usually assessed through weather vanes, wind socks while an anemometer is used to determine the speed of the wind. SODAR- a Sonic Detection and Ranging device is also used in predicting the wind speed and direction, and can predict the wind speed up to hundreds of feet above the ground, this is often used together wind wind masts during the wind monitoring study. Another usual way of Wind assessment is the use of wind maps, which are generally published by the government. These maps show areas with high possibility of wind power development in a particular country. These maps are not accurate enough to be relied upon, however they can be of great help to decide if it is worth setting up a wind mast for wind measurement study.
Meteorological tower on the other hand is also one of the most common methods due to its cost effectiveness. Meteorological towers or measurement towers are provided with anemometers, wind vanes and sensors that help generate data. This data must be recorded for minimum one year to calculate an annual representation of wind speed, however more than one year may produce more reliable results. There is a vast range of data recorders or data loggers available, from simple strip charts to electronic on-board cards that can be used on personal computers. Best data recorders are electronic ones with different types of sensors, number of sensors, measurement parameters and sampling/recording intervals. More importantly, data recorders must be capable of storing internal data, offer retrievable data and be able to operate on battery power. These type of systems are perfect for medium and big scale wind turbines, however for small scale wind turbine the costs of doing a proper wind site assessment may rise some questions.
One solution Logic Energy offers for the small scale wind turbine market, is WindTracker – Eduardo says …
“The good thing about the wind reports that the WindTracker generates is that they are based on REAL data which can be converted directly into energy that would have been generated by any of your preferred wind turbines. No guessing work, extrapolating or forecasting, just real numbers. What all this means is that you get real kWh and £/$/€ for your small wind turbine project”
On large wind farms, multiple meteorological towers are installed. Wind speed may vary depending on the complexity and the roughness of the wind farm. Wind speed is mostly affected by the hills, nearby trees and buildings. There will be times when some calculation may be missing on any one of the towers, but would be recorded on some other tower. The more closely the towers are installed, more are the chances of accurate calculations.
author Eduardo Estelles
1 Ainslie Road,
Glasgow, United Kingdom
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