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RCL 563: Homework 2 - Wind Power

Student: Tulio Marcondes Moreira


Professor: Kevin Hallinan

1. Describe where the relation for wind speed according to: V2 = (H2/H1)V1 came from and
why this approach is considered conservative. Describe also the conditions where it fails.
The Wind Profile Power Law is an empirical equation developed as a way to simplify velocity
and power potential predictions. Its simplicity however comes with the cost of a lower
precision when compared to the Logarithm Law (for the Log Law equation, not only the
roughness of the terrain is accounted for, but also the atmospheric stability).
The Wind Profile Law tends also to be conservative, by the sometimes excessive use of the 1/7
correlation (also called one-seventh-power-law. See References). The problem in this, is that the
roughness coefficient is considered constant, even though it can change significantly with surface
roughness, time of day, season, etc (Reference: http://es.ucsc.edu/~jnoble/wind/extrap/). This
issue is tackled in some articles as well: The 1/7th power law is among the methods that have
been used to extrapolate wind speed to the hub heights of wind turbines from the measuring
levels. However, it tends to underestimate the actual long-term average wind speeds [] The
average power law exponent obtained at the test site was 0.47, a value that is substantially higher
than the 1/7th power law exponent (DETERMINATION OF THE POWER LAW
EXPONENT FOR SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS OF TANZANIA - HH Mwanyika and RM
Kainkwa).
This model tends to fail when in the presence of obstacles, high roughness values, and when the
estimative for the roughness coefficient changes significantly over time (Reference: Wind
Energy Explained WILEY, and Touma, J.S., 1977, Dependence of the wind profile power law
on stability for various locations, J. Air Pollution Control Association, Vol. 27, pp. 863-866).
2. Considering Van Wert, Ohio (Use Ft. Wayne, IN data where applicable), the location of
the wind farm we will be visiting, area wind speeds, determine the annual energy flux
(kWh /sq.m) potential available at a height of 5 m, 20 m, and 50m.
Results from Excell (See attachment):

3. What are the classes of turbines? Intuitively, which turbine class is most suited to the
Van Wert site and why?

According to the international standard IEC 61400-1 ed.2, turbine classes are created in order to
select the most appropriate turbine for each environment. The idea behind this is to not only
optimize power output, but to avoid damage that could be caused in high wind speed
environments.
The current classes are: Ia,Ib,IIa,IIb,IIIa,IIIb and IV.
Each class is assigned accordingly to three parameters: Annual average wind speed, Turbulence
and Extreme 50 year wind gust. The lower the class, the higher wind speed one Turbine can
receive.
Since with the available data from Nrel Tmy3 we can only obtain the wind speed for each hour
in a whole year, is possible to calculate the annual average (annual maximum was taken just for
curiosity):

Thus, only considering the annual average wind speed, for the three heights we would choose
class IV Wind Turbines (good for choice up to wind speeds of 6.0 m/s Reference: IEC 61400-1
ed.2, see links on reference).

4. The Vestas V82 variable yaw wind turbine has a rated power curve as given below. The
lower axis is wind speed in m/s.

a) Develop a Rayleigh distribution for the Van Wert, Oh (use Ft. Wayne, IN data) area wind
speed. Estimate the number of hours that the wind speed will be between 12 and 32 m/s.
Rayleigh Distribution can be plotted through the equation:
Raylcdf(U) = exp(- U^2 / (2*U_mean^2))
When plotting the Rayleigh function in excel we obtain the graph:

Rayleigh Distribution
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0

10

15

20

25

We see that, when close to 16 m/s, the cumulative probability function is practically 0.
For Raylcdf(12), at 78m hub height, we obtain: 13.23%. This means that during a year,
13.23% of the time the wind velocity was above 12 m/s and below 32 m/s (nearly impossible
according to the curve). Thus:
Number of hours = 13.23%*8762 = 1159.2 = 1159 hours and 12 minutes.

b) Applied to the Van Wert, OH area and given the NREL TMY3 typical weather data,
determine the annual energy potential for this turbine. Compare this to the annual

energy extracted using the average wind speed and Rayleig1h distribution. Explain the
differences.

This previous graph can be divided into five functions:


Power (U) = 0, for (U < 4.0)
Power (U) = 200*U 800, for (4.0 < U < 12.5)
Power (U) = 1700, for (12.5 < U < 30)
Power (U) = -1700*U+52700, for (30 < U < 31)
Power (U) = 0, for (31 < U)
Considering a constant wind speed for each hour in the TMY3 data, we can obtain the Power for
each hour in excel, by coding: =IF(U3<4,0,IF(U3<12.5,200*U3-800,IF(U3<30,1700,IF(U3<31,1700*U3+52700,0))))
Thus, after summing the total annual energy potential for 78m hub height according to the graph,
we obtain:

Calculating through average annual wind speed we have:

3
P = A*0.5*p* U *Ke, in which A = 5,281 m2 for the Vestas V82.
N

Also,

1
Ke=
U i3
3
i=1
Nhr ( year )U

Through Rayleigh distribution:

Pw =

Pw ( U )p ( U ) dU
o

. In this case we are dealing with three integrals for each function:

31

( 1700 )p ( U ) dU + (1700U +52700 )p ( U ) dU


30

30

( 200U 800 )p (U ) dU +
12.5

12.5

P w=
4

In which:

p (U )=exp(U /(2U mean))

For 78m hub height, U average = 5.966 m/s. Thus:

71.186
U 2 /

p (U )=e

Trough excel, we can approximate the integral by summing approximated rectangles area values,
thus obtaining:

The Rayleigh distribution presents a much higher value than the actual, since it supposes a higher
presence of high speed winds than the actually observed. The average annual Power estimative is
shown to be actually conservative in this case, as already observed in question 1.

5. Consider the following possible Vestas turbines for the Van Wert site. Given a rough
capital cost of $2/Watt, which turbine(s) are the most economical for the Van Wert site?
Note: you will need to explore the product specification sheets to get data you may need
about each turbine. The produced electrical energy can be assumed sellable to the grid at
$0.05/kWh. Present a summary table showing for each turbine type: (i) annual delivered
energy (kWh); (ii) annual produced electricity (cost); (iii) estimated capital cost; and (iv)
simple payback. Describe why the turbine youve specified as the best is in fact best.
With the use of the tool WebplotDigitizer, we can estimate the power functions (U) for each of
the six shown Turbines. Thus obtaining: (see excel sheet for more detail)

Turbine 1
Turbine 6

Turbine 2

Turbine 3

Turbine 4

Turbine 5

With this analysis we see that Turbine 6 would be the most interesting one to acquire, since it has
the lowest simple payback. The reasons that culminate for this Turbine to be the cheapest are:

Lowest initial cost.


Cut in speed of 3.0 m/s (the lowest value among different turbines).
The steepest inclination of the curve P(U), before reaching the constant value (this was
good considering that, accordingly to the TMY3 data, there is a high occurrence of low
speed winds). This latest statement can be proven in graph by:

Vestas V112-3.0 MW

V100-2.6MW

References:
http://www.vestas.com/en/products_and_services/options_and_solutions#!/vestas-univers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_61400#cite_note-12.
http://arohatgi.info/WebPlotDigitizer/app/?.