Research Papers

Numerical Simulation of Wind Distributions for Resource Assessment in Southeastern Eritrea, East Africa

[+] Author and Article Information
B. Lebassi-Habtezion1

 Department of Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 95053,bereketl@stanford.edu

R. Van Buskirk

 Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, MS 90-4000, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720,


Corresponding author.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 134(3), 031007 (May 07, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006267 History: Received March 22, 2011; Revised March 22, 2011; Published May 07, 2012; Online May 07, 2012

We present the results of a simulation study of the wind energy resources of southeastern Eritrea. In this study, we simulate the three dimensional wind fields during typical, steady conditions of the Southern Red Sea southeast monsoon season. The simulations verify the existence of a low level jet (LLJ) contained within the highly stratified marine layer over the Southern Red Sea. The LLJ is caused by the channeling and the acceleration of marine layer flow as it passes through the strait of Bab el Mandeb on its way from the Indian Ocean to the Eastern Sahara. The LLJ extends from 12.5 deg to 14.5 deg N latitude in the Southern Red Sea and has peak velocities at 300–600 m elevation above the sea. Sea-land breezes advect the high speeds of the LLJ onshore along a 200 km stretch of southeastern Eritrean coastline, producing an excellent wind energy resource that peaks daily at 3 p.m. LST. This resource is currently under development for both grid-connected and decentralized village wind energy applications.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Map of extreme Southern Red Sea study area

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Figure 2

(a) Scatter plot of daily average wind power density vector for Aseb Airport, Eritrea. Wind power density vectors are calculated from hourly data at 10 m, assuming an air density of 1.2 kg m−3 . (Black dot indicates calculation from 4 days modeled average data.) (b) Annual wind rose of Aseb Port calculated based on daily average data at 10 m.

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Figure 3

Boundaries of grids 2–3 in the computational domain

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Figure 4

Comparison of adjusted model output and observations for (a) wind speed and (b) temperature

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Figure 5

Average 10 m (a) and 60 m (b) wind speed for the simulation period for grid 2. Shadings are wind speed (m s−1 ) and box indicates the grid 3 (see Fig. 6).

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Figure 6

Average 10 m (a) and 60 m (b) wind speed for the simulation period for grid 3

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Figure 7

Conceptual model for Southern Red Sea low level jet

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Figure 8

X–Z cross sections (at 13.28 deg N) of wind speeds in the Southern Red Sea for 0000 UTC (a) and 1200 UTC (b) for February 11, 2002 (zoom of gray box shown in Fig. 9.)

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Figure 9

X–Z zoom of the cross sections (at 13.28 deg N) of Fig. 8 box from grid 3 for 0000 UTC, February 11, 2002




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