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Spatial and temporal distributions of U.S. winds and wind power at 80 m derived from measurements
 

Summary: Spatial and temporal distributions of U.S. winds and wind power at
80 m derived from measurements
Cristina L. Archer and Mark Z. Jacobson
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
Received 9 January 2002; revised 14 December 2002; accepted 20 December 2002; published 13 May 2003.
[1] This is a study to quantify U.S. wind power at 80 m (the hub height of large wind
turbines) and to investigate whether winds from a network of farms can provide a steady and
reliable source of electric power. Data from 1327 surface stations and 87 soundings in the
United States for the year 2000 were used. Several methods were tested to extrapolate 10-m
wind measurements to 80 m. The most accurate, a least squares fit based on twice-a-day
wind profiles from the soundings, resulted in 80-m wind speeds that are, on average, 1.31.7
m/s faster than those obtained from the most common methods previously used to obtain
elevated data for U.S. wind power maps, a logarithmic law and a power law, both with
constant coefficients. The results suggest that U.S. wind power at 80 m may be substantially
greater than previously estimated. It was found that 24% of all stations (and 37% of all
coastal/offshore stations) are characterized by mean annual speeds !6.9 m/s at 80 m,
implying that the winds over possibly one quarter of the United States are strong enough to
provide electric power at a direct cost equal to that of a new natural gas or coal power plant.
The greatest previously uncharted reservoir of wind power in the continental United States is
offshore and nearshore along the southeastern and southern coasts. When multiple wind

  

Source: Archer, Cristina Lozej - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

 

Collections: Geosciences; Renewable Energy