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Choosing a wind system depends not only on the wind turbine but also on the wind available at your site.
Especially with larger grid connected wind turbines where the capital investment is greatest, accurate wind monitoring is an essential first step in determining how much power can be produced, for how much of the time, and how quickly the investment can be paid back.
For smaller installations, the cost of such equipment can exceed the cost of the installation itself so other methods are necessary. The simplest of these is observation over a period of time and if the proposed user is living on the site they will have a good idea of average wind conditions.
(map and info below from the DECC)
The whole of the UK has a windspeed "map" which uses a computer simulation. By entering your site location you can obtain information about the winds in your km square (and the surrounding ones) at various heights.
This data can then be compared with typical outputs for various turbines.
Since twice the wind speed could provide eight times the potential resource, carrying out some simple monitoring on-site will enable the viability of the wind to be more accurately assessed, particularly on a month-by-month basis and with a shorter "averaging" period.
Weather Stations have developed considerably over the past few years and provide excellent value for those interested in learning more about their site. Connection to a PC allows a very useful site history of weather patterns to be created.
For more remote sites it is necessary to use a battery powered logger (wind loggers).
Variations in wind speed on a daily and seasonal basis, and how this relates to the pattern of energy usage, is also important. This is particularly so with battery storage systems. A small increase in average windspeed will result in a large increase in long-term energy output.
Wind Monitoring For Grid Connection
To determine the economics of a sizeable wind turbine requires a more detailed analysis of the wind regime at the site. Accurate wind monitoring is an essential first step in determining how much power can be produced, for how much of the time and how quickly the investment can be paid back. It will be a requirement for any external financing.
To achieve the required accuracy the wind resource needs to be recorded over time, usually as 10 minute or Hourly means of speed and direction.
The NRG range uses removable solid-state memory storage in a very robust carrier. Using chips as opposed to cards or tapes means no possibility of data loss due to internal battery failures etc.- chips can be sent safely by post, we have successfully analysed chips sent from as far away as the Falkland Islands.
They can be easily changed by a local stockman and, although we could offer cell-phone loggers, a monthly visit to the site has proven it's worth by enabling preventative maintenance.
Downloading the data requires a reader which plugs into a PC RS232 port. The data is retrieved into a spreadsheet compatible format.