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Errors and uncertainties associated with missing wind data and short records



A near-complete 4 year data set of 10 min average 80 m wind speeds is used to examine the impact of missing data on monthly and yearly estimates of mean wind speed and energy production from a generic wind turbine. Missing data is a source of uncertainty in wind energy resource assessment studies. Quantifying that uncertainty can improve the reliability of P90 and related wind farm energy production estimates. An empirical relationship between missing data percentage and relative uncertainty in monthly mean wind speed is derived. Relationships between uncertainties in monthly average wind speed and uncertainties in monthly energy production are also explored. In many cases with monthly data losses of 10% or less the contribution to the overall uncertainty in annual energy production will be small (<1%), but with substantial losses in cold winters, typically caused by icing; the uncertainties can become more significant. The data set is also used to indicate uncertainties associated with short data periods. Annual average wind speed estimates based on less than a complete year's data also add significant uncertainty to wind resource assessments. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.