Numerical Models

Numerical models for predicting winds are becoming more accurate and useful, especially for those areas of the world where surface wind data are scarce or unreliable. Models were primarily derived from numerical models for weather prediction [32]. Remember that a small difference in wind speed can make a large difference in energy. Therefore, in the final analysis, surface wind data are still needed for wind farms.

TABLE 9.3

Texas, Intercepted and Capturable Wind Power and Annual Energy Potential from Land That Satisfies the Screening Parameters

TABLE 9.3

Texas, Intercepted and Capturable Wind Power and Annual Energy Potential from Land That Satisfies the Screening Parameters

Area

Intercepted

Capturable Power

Energy

Wind Class

km2

MW

MW

TWh/year

3

69,299

302,365

90,170

795

4

41,391

232,196

81,269

712

5

42

288

101

1

6

54

471

165

1

7

2

22

8

Total

110,788

535,342

172,252

1,509

MesoMap: The MesoMap system was developed specifically for near-surface wind forecasting. It is a modified version of the Mesocale Atmospheric Simulation System (MASS) weather model. MesoMap uses historical atmospheric data spanning 20 years and a fine grid (typically 1-5 km). MesoMap simulates sea breezes, mountain winds, low-level jets, changing wind shear due to solar heating of the earth's surface, the effects of temperature inversions, and other meteorological phenomena. MesoMap does not depend on surface wind measurements although surface measurements are desirable for calibration.

The model provides descriptive statistics at any height above ground, such as wind speed histograms, Weibull frequency parameters, turbulence and maximum gusts, maps of wind energy potential within specific geographical regions, and even the annual energy production of wind turbines at selected sites in the region.

WAsP: Wind Atlas Analysis and Application Program is software developed by Riso National Laboratory for predicting wind climate and power production from wind turbines. The predictions are based on wind data measured at stations in the region. The program includes a complex terrain flow model. WAsP was used for developing the European wind map (see Figure 4.3) and is used by many others across the world. Other models are available, so check the links listed below and the Internet.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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