Determining the Effects of Wind Shear Events on the Power Output of Individual Wind Turbines on an Iowa Wind Farm
The effect of wind shear on the power output of individual wind turbines is a relatively new area of research and is often overlooked, or not characterized alone. Renewable energy is becoming more important as a fossil fuel crisis seems imminent in our future. The intent of this study is to give a better understanding of the effects of wind shear alone on power production of multi-megawatt wind turbines on a wind farm in Iowa. Data from the Palmer, Iowa 150-m tall meteorological tower was interpolated to 80 m turbine hub height. Wind shear values were calculated and visually compared with power shear data from individual wind turbines. The data were analyzed using statistical t-tests and results showed that a low shear environment was more suitable for high power production. It was found that four out of five turbines produced statistically significant data, and the turbines in wakes of multiple turbines were found to be statistically insignificant. Future research in this area could include characterization of effects of wakes and turbulence with wind shear to produce a relationship between wind shear and power output for turbines in the wakes of other turbines.