Design Innovation

Design of an Extra-Tall Mast Above Blade-Tip Heights for Wind Resource Assessments Across Complex Terrain Regions

[+] Author and Article Information
Carole A. Womeldorf

Wind Energy Assessment and Visualization Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701 e-mail: womeldorf@ohio.edu

J. Sol. Energy Eng 134(1), 015001 (Jan 05, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005086 History: Received May 22, 2010; Revised August 24, 2011; Published January 05, 2012; Online January 05, 2012

Wind energy predictions for many rural, complex terrain regions are based solely on large-scale meteorological models that may poorly characterize the local resource. Changes in government policies, energy economics, and wind technologies suggest that the best wind resources across such a complex terrain region in southeast Ohio may be economically viable. The wind energy and assessment visualization (WEAV) assessment approach is a meso-scale strategy to locate the best resource in a marginal wind region. The measurement component is described here. Wind characteristics measurements on a communications tower at six heights up to 240 m, are being acquired. This data will be input into a complex-terrain wind simulator with terrain information to model the wind resource across approximately 2000 square miles (5200 km2 ). Advantages of the WEAV assessment strategy include explicit measurement of wind shear and velocities, long-term characterization of the free stream velocity field, and evaluation of a much larger assessment region. Included is a description of, the motivation for and advantages of this approach, details of the design, installation, and challenges of an extra-tall tower wind measurements, and a discussion of the economics of both Class 2 wind (∼250 W/m2 ) and the WEAV assessment approach compared with conventional wind assessments.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Study area classified topography, upper left, is indicated by the black circle with a 40 km (25 mile) radius, tower site indicated with a red triangle. Unclassified topography of the Appalachian Mountains, encompassing all or part of 12 states is shown diagonally. Study area’s predominant land use is forested, as shown in lower right-hand circle.

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Figure 2

Three normalized velocity profiles for different shear exponents are shown. H/Ho as a function of a constant ΔV/Vo is shown with dotted lines for the case of α = 1/7 and Ho  = 50 m.

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Figure 3

Mounting heights that satisfy the constant ΔV/Vo criteria for three wind shear exponents, where Ho  = 50 m, H1  = 45 m, and H6  = 240 m. Actual installation heights overlay ideal values. Circles indicate locations of tower equipment interference.

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Figure 4

Wind rose chart, located 1.2 miles west of wind measurement site. Dark/light grey indicates percent of total wind energy/total time [18].

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Figure 5

Cross-section schematic of the triangular guyed tower with six possible boom locations indicated. Wind vectors are shown at each possible boom position. B2 and C2 are the final installed positions.

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Figure 6

Frequency distribution (and scatter plot) by direction for 10-min average wind speeds greater than 4.5 m/s (10 mph) from August to October 2009.

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Figure 7

Anemometer boom shown, with directional vane mounting system. Solid fill indicates tower legs. The largest boom piece is 3″ pipe schedule 40. No guy wires were used (1.0′ = 0.305 m).



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