Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 2:45 PM
Hurricane Measurements and Modeling for Wind Turbine Siting and Design
Room 338 (New Orleans Convention Center )
President Obama has called for the U. S. to produce 80% of its electricity from clean sources by 2035. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has projected that wind energy could provide up to 20 % of our electricity needs by 2030. Offshore wind farms would contribute up to 54 GW towards this goal. Wind farms currently in the permitting and planning stages off the U. S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts are considering locations susceptible to tropical cyclones. With proper design, wind turbines should be able to cut-off when winds exceed the power generation range, withstand the loads of a tropical cyclone when shut down, and then continue to produce again once the storm has passed. Wind records gathered from 1-2 year field campaigns near the proposed wind farm locations are not long enough to capture the long tern return period wind speeds needed to establish design loads. Stochastic methods currently used in the insurance industry provide a means to estimate return period wind speeds but are usually considered proprietary "black boxes". The Florida Public Hurricane Loss Model developed by the State of FLorida provides an example of a transparent and open approach to estimating hurricane landfall risk. A stochastic model in concert with measured tropical cyclone wind profiles gathered over the past 13 years, together with a field program component to gather detailed measurements when tropical cyclones pass near proposed wind farm areas, will help to provide more accurate information to establish risk and detailed design parameters related to wind shear over the turbine rotor.