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Keywords:

  • rotor sizing capacity factor;
  • specific power revenue factor;
  • demand factor;
  • diurnal pattern;
  • seasonal pattern;
  • electrical power demand;
  • time-dependent valuation

Abstract

Turbine optimization for specific wind regimes and climate conditions is becoming more common as the market expands into new territories (offshore, low-wind regimes) and as technology matures. Tailoring turbines for specific sites by varying rotor diameter, tower height and power electronics may be a viable technique to make wind energy more economic and less intermittent. By better understanding the wind resource trends and evaluating important wind turbine performance parameters such as specific power (ratio of rated power and rotor swept area), developers and operators can optimize plant output and better anticipate operational impacts. This article presents a methodology to evaluate site-specific wind data for turbine tailoring. Wind characteristics for the Tehachapi wind resource area in California were utilized for this study. These data were used to evaluate the performance of a range of wind turbine configurations. The goal was to analyse the variations in wind power output for the area, assess the changes in these levels with the time of day and season and determine how turbine configuration affects the output. Wind turbine output was compared with California statewide system electrical demand to evaluate the correlation of the wind resource site with local peak demand loads. A comparison of the commercial value of electricity and corresponding wind generation is also presented using a time-dependent valuation methodology. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.