Wind Tubine Cost of Electricity and Capacity Factor

[+] Author and Article Information
A. J. Cavallo

289 Western Way, Princeton, NJ 08540

J. Sol. Energy Eng 119(4), 312-314 (Nov 01, 1997) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2888038 History: Received March 01, 1996; Revised January 01, 1997; Online February 14, 2008


Wind turbines are currently designed to minimize the cost of electricity at the wind turbine (the busbar cost) in a given wind regime, ignoring constraints on the capacity factor (the ratio of the average power output to the maximum power output). The trade-off between these two quantities can be examined in a straightforward fashion; it is found that the capacity factor can be increased by a factor of 30 percent above its value at the cost minimum for a ten percent increase in the busbar cost of electricity. This has important implications for the large-scale integration of wind electricity on utility grids where the cost of transmission may be a significant fraction of the cost of delivered electricity, or where transmission line capacity may be limited.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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