A new piece of software is set to revolutionise how sites for offshore wind energy are selected, by providing accurate data on wind speed and direction for the first time.
The Offshore Wind Speed Database, which has been developed by the UK’s leading renewable energy and environmental consultancy, Atmos Consulting, will provide accurate, site-specific data for the last 20 years on potential offshore sites. The new tool is already being utilised by a top international utility company, currently bidding for UK Round 3 offshore wind development zones.
Until now, the method used for assessing the wind resource of an offshore site has been largely unreliable and inaccurate. Currently, most calculations are based on data gathered on-site over a period of 12 months, which is then interpolated to the closest onshore data to assume a long term record for the site. The interpolation creates large inaccuracies due to the fact that the characteristics of wind onshore are very different from those offshore, and the distances between the met mast and onshore site are growing ever greater.
John Sturman, Associate Director of Atmos Consulting, commented: “This new Offshore Wind Database is a major step forward in the development of the offshore wind industry. It provides developers with an extremely powerful tool, enabling fast, cost effective and detailed analysis of any site offshore. For the first time, developers will be able to make decisions based on a reliable dataset covering the last 20 years.”
The Offshore Wind Speed Database uses three different sensors on six satellites to provide site specific measurements of offshore wind speed and direction, with measurements every 6 hours for the last 20 years for any offshore site around the globe. It enables resource assessment and weather windowing to be undertaken with much greater confidence than previous methods and reports that include turbine power output analysis, monthly/annual variability for the last 20 years, PDF, daily and seasonal patterns, wind roses, Weibull distribution parameters and extreme wind analysis can be produced quickly and effectively.