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Title: Predicting the wind resource available to roof-mounted wind turbines in urban areas
Author: Millward-Hopkins, Joel Thomas
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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Anthropogenic climate change is one of the most difficult challenges currently faced by society, and in order to prevent the most dangerous scenarios from occurring it is essential that human activities and behaviour in the industrialised world are made environmentally sustainable. A large part of these changes must involve reducing the amount of energy that we use, and changing the way in which it is produced, and here renewable energy technologies will play a vital role. The research reported in this Thesis focuses upon one such technology, namely that of wind energy in the urban environment. A major barrier to the deployment of this technology reaching its full potential is the lack of accurate and affordable methods of estimating wind speeds in urban areas. Thus, improving these methods is what this research aims to address. Firstly, by analysing a number of experimental datasets, an evaluation of currently available methods of predicting urban wind resource is undertaken in order to establish the feasibility of developing more accurate methods. Subsequently, new models are developed that allow the mapping of predicted mean wind speeds over urban areas. The accuracy of the predictions is then evaluated using measured meteorological data from various locations. An evaluation of the cumulative potential for generating wind energy in the major UK city of Leeds is then made. The models that are developed are found to improve the accuracy of estimations of surface aerodynamic parameters and mean wind speeds in urban areas, with respect to currently available models. The results highlight the importance of including the influence of building height variation and changes in wind direction in such models, and also the value of utilising detailed building geometric data as model input. Finally, the investigation of the cumulative potential for generating wind energy in Leeds indicates a largely untapped wind resource available that could allow for a significant expansion of urban wind energy. The estimates of the deployment potential of urban wind energy have practical value for turbine manufactures and urban planners alike. In addition, the wind maps presented offer a valuable means for pinpointing locations where a significant wind resource may be available, and hence where useful carbon savings can be made. Therefore, in order to maximise the impact of this research, it would be valuable for these maps to be made available and easily accessible to interested parties and individuals, and hence this is a major objective of future work.
Supervisor: Tomlin, Alison ; Ma, Lin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available