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Title: Analysis tools for urban wind turbines
Author: Drew, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 825X
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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With the UK seeking to increase the contribution of microgeneration, the number of small wind turbines installed in urban areas has increased. However, a wide-spread experience is that urban located turbines have generated considerably less energy than anticipated. This thesis demonstrates that poor turbine placement, due to inadequacies in commonly used wind resource modelling and assessment techniques, has played a large part in this disappointing outcome. The current site assessment tools estimate a turbine's performance at a potential site using a method developed for large scale wind energy projects in rural areas. Using data measured at 91 Met Office weather stations across the UK and a rooftop site in London, this thesis shows that when applied in urban areas, this method can lead to large errors in the predicted energy production of a small wind turbine. The magnitude of these errors is such that the tools cannot consistently identify the economic viability of a turbine/site combination. This is largely due to a simplified representation of the site's wind resource. By not considering the decelaration of the wind by friction, there are large errors in the predictions of a site's annual mean wind speed. Across the sites there is a mean error of over 40% and 18% for the DECC wind speed database and the Carbon Trust tool respectively. Furthermore, analysis of data collected at the roof top site shows that due to high levels of turbulence in urban areas, a Weibull distribution does not provide a sufficient representation of the temporal variability of a site's wind resource. 1 Subsequently the thesis develops an improved, more reliable means of predicting mean wind speed at urban sites by considering interactions between the flow and the morphology of built-up areas in more detail than has been possible previously. When applied to the Greater London area the model shows that turbines generally perform better towards the outskirts of the city, however there are some sites with good wind resource close to the city centre with low aerodynamic roughness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available