Research Targets High Altitude Wind Power

September 14, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will provide nearly $400,000 to research the wind resource at levels above normal measurements in five different states under its Special Projects competitive grants program, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Most wind resource data is now in the 30-50-meter range, whereas typical hub-heights for utility scale turbines are now in the range of 70 to 90 meters and higher. Funding was awarded to state energy departments in Iowa, Virginia, Missouri, Kansas, and Ohio to establish tall-tower wind monitoring programs. Researchers will collect taller tower data to validate meso-scale weather modeling as well as examine interaction of the “nocturnal jet” and high-hub wind turbines. The nocturnal jet phenomenon consists of a layer of strong winds centered a few hundred meters above ground level. It reaches its maximum strength at night and occurs in the continental U.S. Further data is needed to understand how far down jets extend toward the surface during the night, and how that affects wind resource characterizations. “We don’t understand well the way wind acts above 100 meters, the height that many of the newer wind turbines will reach,” said Jack Cadogan, head of the DOE wind program. “These grants will fill in some of the holes in our current understanding.” Article courtesy of AWEA
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