Dr. Ahmed G. Abo-Khalil

Electrical Engineering Department

Wind power density

Wind power density


Nowadays, a yardstick used to determine the best locations for wind energy development is referred to as wind power density (WPD). It is a calculation relating to the effective force of the wind at a particular location, frequently expressed in terms of the elevation above ground level over a period of time. It takes into account wind velocity and mass. Color coded maps are prepared for a particular area are described as, for example, "mean annual power density at 50 meters." The results of the above calculation are included in an index developed by the National Renewable Energy Lab and referred to as "NREL CLASS." The larger the WPD calculation, the higher it is rated by class.[54] At the end of 2008, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 120.8 gigawatts.[55] Although wind produces only about 1.5% of worldwide electricity use,[55] it is growing rapidly, having doubled in the three years between 2005 and 2008. In several countries it has achieved relatively high levels of penetration, accounting for approximately 19% of electricity production in Denmark, 10% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. One study indicates that an entirely renewable energy supply based on 70% wind is attainable at today's power prices by linking wind farms with an HVDC supergrid.


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