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Conducting a feasibility study on wind energy

  1. Feb 24, 2013 #1
    I'm in the final year of my bs. in mechanical engineering.For my senior project , I would like to conduct a study on the feasibility of harnessing wind energy for electricity in my country (I don't think it has been done here before and we have a power problem and a pollution problem).
    My questions :
    -do you think this would make a good project
    -can anyone who has done this kind of thing before or works in alternative energy give me some pointers about where to begin and how to go about it
    -I doubt I will be able to get sponsoring so can anyone fill me in on the expenses that might be involved( for measurements for example)
    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2013 #2
    Sure, it would make a good project if done right.

    Some things to consider when doing wind power studies:

    1) How much energy do you need?
    --What are these turbines going to be powering?
    --What peak demand should they be able to produce?
    --Where does the energy go to be distributed (ie. is there access to power stations/ "the grid"?)

    2) Where are you going to put the turbines, and (from 1) how many will you need.
    --You've got to find a location which has open area that can be developed.
    --You've got to find a location which has consistent winds all year round.

    3) How high are must the turbines be?
    --Consistent wind is a huge part of determining the efficacy of wind farms, but so is consistent and reasonable wind altitude. Wind is a moving fluid over a solid body and as such, a boundary layer is produced. You want the turbine blades high enough that they are within the free stream (or at least outside of the slower boundary layer), but they cant be too high or they will be prohibitively expensive to build and maintain.

    4) Buffeting. If the farm will be built in or near a residential or otherwise populated area, you've got to determine the sound levels that will be experienced in the viscinity.

    There are plenty of other things that must be examined in a feasibility study like this. If you think the whole problem out and try to address most of them, and if you back up your work with math, you'll probably have a good project.
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