Monitoring Wind Turbine Performance with Kestrel Weather Meters
Wind power is dependent on wind speed. When evaluating a wind energy site, it is important to gather wind speed, wind direction, and other environmental factors that could affect the energy output. Collecting onsite environmental data prior to installing wind turbines is critical to planning for a successful wind farm. Contractors, equipment manufacturers, and consultants provide estimates that take into consideration site specific conditions, but actual performance can vary considerably. To assess individual turbine performance and know when maintenance may be required, it is necessary to measure the minimum, maximum, and average wind speeds at each installation.
When it comes to wind measurements, there is no better tool than Kestrel wind and weather meters. Kestrel meters offer so much more than a basic anemometer function. The Kestrel line of rugged portable monitoring devices not only provide accurate measurements, but also offer options for storing, charting, and sharing data thanks to Bluetooth connectivity. Whether your environmental monitoring needs are basic or more comprehensive, there’s a Kestrel meter for you to get the job done. These devices are used for determining the specific onsite conditions and the efficiency of individual turbines. They also aid in finding the ideal location for a single turbine or wind farm as well as maintenance purposes.
How do Wind Turbines Work?
Wind turbines are activated by wind speed. The wind steers the blade and gives it the power to rotate and produce energy.
As the propeller-like blades spin, this activates a generator and creates electricity.
Since wind turbines cannot operate without wind power, determining a location is vitally important for power production.
How the Wind's Power Can Create Electricity
Wind patterns and speeds will vary greatly across the US and various locations throughout the world.
Wind is modified by bodies of water and mountains. Wind will even vary from irregularities in the earth's surface along with our planet's rotation. This is why there are several types of turbine categories, including land-based, offshore, and distributed wind.
As the air flows through the turbine's rotor blade, air pressure changes on one side of the blade and decreases on others. This creates a lift-and-drag response.
When the force of the lift is stronger than the drag, the rotor blade will spin.
The spinning of the blades is an aerodynamic process that results in electricity.
Determining Wind Turbine Location
Assessing potential wind availability is an important step in planning a wind farm. The wind in the proposed location must be assessed over a prolonged period of time.
The assessment of wind turbine sites is determined by a calculation that is measured for a prolonged period of time. It’s ideal to measure the sites for as long as possible during the planning phase.
If the calculations are wrong, it can have an incredibly negative impact on the amount of energy produced as well as the investment overall.
The ideal location for wind turbines is a mix of art and science. There needs to be enough consistent wind at the right amount of gusts to power the turbines.
On the other hand, locations that are too gusty are not ideal for wind farms. This is especially true when considering the size of the wind turbines.
How Kestrel Meters Help Determine Location & Maintenance of Wind Turbines
Using a professional-grade tool such as the Kestrel 5500 Weather Meter is recommended for gathering data to determine the location and maximize results from wind turbines. The Kestrel 5500 is able to measure and log wind and weather data over time to provide relevant details for analysis and make the most informed decision.
You will need to monitor aspects such as:
- Average wind speeds over a period of 10 minutes
- Maximum wind speeds or gusts over a period of 10 minutes
- Standard deviation is wind density over a period of 10 minutes. Remember that a wind turbine must work with the wind, not against it.
- Wind direction: This tells you where the wind is coming from and at what speed.
Set up Your Wind Turbine for Success
In addition to a wind vane, Kestrel weather meters are a must-have for the success of a wind farm. This is because Kestrel meters give you an exact snapshot of wind speed and wind variance in real time. Knowing and logging wind data can reduce the risk of a failed wind farm, especially if you use it during the planning phase.
With the ability to read all data in relation to wind, there are many Kestrel models available for the planning phase of wind turbines. Explore our selection and invest in Kestrel for a successful wind turbine farm.