[Vision2020] 100 Meter Wind ElectricTurbines

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Sun Apr 13 14:06:08 PDT 2008


From source above:

In retrospect, we now know that this was a gross underestimate of the wind
potential because it was based on the technologies of 1991. Advances in wind
turbine design since then enable turbines to operate at lower wind speeds,
to convert wind into electricity more efficiently, and to harness a much
larger wind regime. In 1991, wind turbines may have averaged scarcely 40
meters in height. Today, new turbines are 100 meters tall, perhaps tripling
the harvestable wind. We now know that the United States has enough
harnessable wind energy to meet not only national electricity needs, but
national energy needs. 20
The "20" at the end of this paragraph refers to this article in the Journal
of Geophysical Research:


Abstract from URL above:

This is a study to quantify U.S. wind power at 80 m (the hub height of large
wind turbines) and to investigate whether winds from a network of farms can
provide a steady and reliable source of electric power. Data from 1327
surface stations and 87 soundings in the United States for the year 2000
were used. Several methods were tested to extrapolate 10-m wind measurements
to 80 m. The most accurate, a least squares fit based on twice-a-day wind
profiles from the soundings, resulted in 80-m wind speeds that are, on
average, 1.3¨C1.7 m/s faster than those obtained from the most common methods
previously used to obtain elevated data for U.S. wind power maps, a
logarithmic law and a power law, both with constant coefficients. The
results suggest that U.S. wind power at 80 m may be substantially greater
than previously estimated. It was found that 24% of all stations (and 37% of
all coastal/offshore stations) are characterized by mean annual speeds ¡Ý6.9
m/s at 80 m, implying that the winds over possibly one quarter of the United
States are strong enough to provide electric power at a direct cost equal to
that of a new natural gas or coal power plant. The greatest previously
uncharted reservoir of wind power in the continental United States is
offshore and nearshore along the southeastern and southern coasts. When
multiple wind sites are considered, the number of days with no wind power
and the standard deviation of the wind speed, integrated across all sites,
are substantially reduced in comparison with when one wind site is
considered. Therefore a network of wind farms in locations with high annual
mean wind speeds may provide a reliable and abundant source of electric

Published 13 May 2003.


Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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