WER-2: Wichita, Kansas wind characteristics estimated from 1968-1973 NWS data : performance of the NASA 100 kw prototype wind generator in the Wichita wind regime
Thomann, Gary C.
Jong, Mark T.
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Gary C. Thomann, Mark T. Jong. Wichita, Kansas wind characteristics estimated from 1968-1973 NWS data : performance of the NASA 100 kw prototype wind generator in the Wichita wind regime. Wind Energy Report no.2. Wichita State University. Center for Energy Studies, 1977, 19 p.
At the present time there ex ists a capabi lity to manufacture wind turbines for generati ng el ectric power to be fed into the utility grid. These turbines would not be l arge by conventi onal power plant standards; individual wind rna.chines might generate between 100 kW to 1 MW under rated wind conditions. Larger amounts of power could be provided by interconnecting a number of such wind generators . One such system has already been built by several industries under contract to NASA (Thomas , 1975) . This machine, rated at 100 kW and located at Plum Brook, Ohio, has undergone a limited amount of testing . It is presently experienci ng some problems with its rotor, but i t is expected that improvements in the propel lor will soon allow testing to conti nue. NASA present ly plans to build several systems similar to this one and place them around the country for demonstration purposes . NASA is also investigating wind generators up to 1500 kW with certain of t hese uni ts to also be used to demonstrate the feasibility of generating power from the wind. Wind generators for commercia lly producing electric power are not cu rrently being mass produced because it is not yet clear tha t the production of power from the wi nd is yet economically feasible . even at the low prices attributed to mass production. As the cost of energy from other sources continues to increase, wind power may have a much stronger competiti ve pos ition . Wind generators for commerc i al use would be deSigned to minimize the cost of the energy produced. Such an optimi zation requires t hat the wind turbine be matched to the wind regime in which it is to operate. Data from the National Weather Se rvi ce (NWS ) for the years 1968 to 1973 is used here to estimate the wind characteri stics for Wi chita, Kansas. The performance of the NASA 100 kW prototype is then analyzed in the Wi chita wind climate. The power available in the wind is proportiona l to the wind veloci ty cubed (V3). Therefore, to det ermine the power in the wind it is necessary to cal culate t he average va lue of t he ve locity cubed. However, even this average will allow only a determination of the total power in the wind. Practical wind generation systems operate over only a limited range of wind speeds and , to match the generator to the wind regi me properly, it is usually necessary to know the number of hours the wind blows at any given
Sponsored by Wichita State University and the State of Kansas.