Wind farm operators to benefit from increasing wind speeds, study saysDecember 11, 2019
New study finds that the world is windier now compared to ten years ago.
Wind farm operators are likely to be thrilled by new research that has found global wind speeds have dramatically increased in the past ten years.
Faster wind means wind turbines function with greater efficiency.
In their study, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers evaluated decades of weather data. One of the study’s authors, Princeton University scholar Timothy Searchinger, says that the researchers anticipate wind speed to keep increasing.
Increasing wind speeds can result in a number of positive renewable power effects. For instance, wind farm operators will likely benefit from higher wind speeds as the faster the wind speed, the more efficient the wind turbine.
When the wind speed is increased by only a little bit, wind power generation is boosted quite a lot, says Searchinger.
WBUR reports that the study found the average wind turbine produced about 17% more electricity in 2017 compared to 2010.
Wind farm operators can thank ocean oscillations for influencing wind speed.
According to the researchers, ocean oscillations are influencing wind speed. Searchinger says that different patterns of pressure and temperature as well as winds in various parts of the ocean go through irregular but recurring patterns.
To obtain an accurate measurement, researchers were required to make a diverse range of statistical analyses based on varying biases like elevation and height.
“When you size wind turbines, you can size them differently to take advantage of that additional power,” Searchinger says.
He adds that this is the key point. If changing wind patterns can be predicted 10 years in advance, turbines can be sized so that they can best take advantage of the maximum amount of wind that is both economical and reasonable.
The study also debunked a popular belief that human impact had been slowing global wind speed from 1980 onward, due to more buildings and vegetation in certain places. Searchinger says the researchers’ study reveals that’s not the case.
Based on the studies finding, wind farm operators can capitalize on changing wind pattern predictions for at least the next decade.