Wind resource assessment using mapinfo GIS software tool

Wind resource assessment using mapinfo GIS software tool

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Mr. B Rajsekhar
Manager (Wind Research and Technical Services)
Asian Wind Turbine (Pvt.) Ltd.

With nearly 90% of the all the lifecycle costs of a wind power plant being upfront, the financial and economic viability of electricity generation from wind energy is solely dependent of the level and extent of energy content in winds prevalent at a site. Prevalent wind at a location is both site specific and very dependent on the terrain and topographic features at and around the location. Due to the very spatial nature and characteristics of wind because of the very reasons sited above, it becomes essential to estimate winds at each of the wind turbine location a priori. Ideally though the simplest of the means for doing the same is by taking actual measurements, it is not recommended because of the high time and cost involvement. As a result, simulation codes based on theoretical and empirical results are used to estimate winds at all wind turbine locations based on wind measurements made at one reference location.

One of such simulation tool, presently recognized Worldwide as an industry standard, is the Wind Atlas Application Analysis Program (WAsP). It is, however, necessary for a complimentary GIS tool to (1) enable handling and managing large quantities of spatial data, and (2) facilitate decision making by being able to present visually the results. MapInfo GIS software package assists in creating all the input spatial data for the WAsP program to work with and also in presenting the results spatially. The GIS software package Mapinfo professional together with the Vertical Mapper module is ideally suited to be used together with WAsP for wind resource assessment and micro-siting wind turbines in a wind farm.