Title page for ETD etd-05182012-181801

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Rehman, Shafiqur
Email srehman@kfupm.edu.sa
URN etd-05182012-181801
Document Title Wind power resource assessment, design of grid-connected wind farm and hybrid power system
Degree PhD(Eng)
Department Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
Advisor Name Title
Dr L M Al-Hadhrami Co-Supervisor
Prof J P Meyer Co-Supervisor
Dr M M Alam Supervisor
  • wind frequency distribution
  • plant capacity factor
  • grid-connected wind farms
  • hybrid power system
  • wind shear exponent
  • wind rose diagram
  • hub height
  • resource assessment
  • wind power
  • wind maps
  • clean energy
Date 2012-04-23
Availability restricted
An exponentially growing global population, power demands, pollution levels and, on the other hand, rapid advances in means of communication have made the public aware of the complex energy situation. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has vast open land, an abundance of fossil fuel, a small population but has always been among the front-runners where the development and utilisation of clean sources of energy are concerned. Several studies on wind, solar and geothermal sources of energy have been conducted in Saudi Arabia. Solar photovoltaic (pv) has been used for a long time in many applications such as cathodic protection, communication towers and remotely located oil field installations. Recently, a 2MW grid-connected pv power plant has been put online and much larger solar desalination plants are in planning stage.

Wind resource assessment, hub height optimisation, grid-connected wind farm and hybrid power system design were conducted in this study using existing methods. Historical daily mean wind speed data measured at 8 to 12metres above ground level at national and international airports in the kingdom over a period of 37 years was used to obtain long-term annual and monthly mean wind speeds, annual mean wind speed trends, frequency distribution, Weibull parameters, wind speed maps, hub height optimisation and energy yield using an efficient modern wind turbine of 2.75MW rated power. A further detailed analysis (such as estimation of wind shear exponent, Weibull parameters at different heights, frequency distribution at different heights, energy yield and plant capacity factor and wind speed variation with height) was conducted using wind speed measurements made at 20, 30 and 40metres above ground level.

As a first attempt, an empirical correlation was developed for the estimation of near-optimal hub height (HH = 142.035 * (α) + 40.33) as a function of local wind shear exponent (α) with a correlation coefficient of 97%. This correlation was developed using the energy yield from a wind turbine of 1 000kW rated power and wind speed and local exponent for seven locations in Saudi Arabia. A wind-pv-diesel hybrid power system was designed and specifications were made for a remotely located village, which is being fed 100% by diesel power generating units. The proposed system, if developed, will offset around 35% of the diesel load and therefore will result in decreased air pollution by almost the same amount.

The developed wind speed maps, the frequency distributions and estimated local wind shear exponents for seven locations and energy yield will be of great help in defining the further line of action and policy-building towards wind power development and utilisation in the kingdom. The study also recommends conducting a wind measurement campaign using tall towers with wind measurements at more than one height and estimating the local wind shear exponents and developing a wind atlas for the kingdom. The study further states that a grid-connected wind farm of moderate capacity of 40MW should be developed using turbines of varying rated powers. The wind speed data was also analysed using wavelet transform and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to understand the fluctuation in wind speed time series for some of the stations. It is also recommended that policy-makers should take firm decision on the development of hybrid power systems for remotely located populations which are not yet connected with the grid. There are two challenges which need research: one is the effect of dust on the moving and structural elements of the wind turbines and the second is the effect of high prevailing temperatures on the performance and efficiency of the same.

2012 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Rehman, S 2012, Wind power resource assessment, design of grid-connected wind farm and hybrid power system, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05182012-181801/ >


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