While offshore wind power resources are abundant, wind turbines are currently unable to provide steady power due to natural fluctuations in wind direction and strength.
Offshore wind power output can be made more consistent by choosing project development locations that take advantage of regional weather patterns and by connecting wind power generators with a shared power line, according to a paper by researchers from the University of Delaware and Stony Brook University published in the April 5 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Making wind-generated electricity more steady will enable wind power to become a much larger fraction of our electric sources,” said the paper’s lead author Willett Kempton, UD professor of marine policy in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and director of its Center for Carbon-free Power Integration.
The research team — which also included UD alumnus Felipe Pimenta, UD research faculty member Dana Veron, and Brian Colle, associate professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University — demonstrated thoughtful design of offshore wind power projects can minimize the impacts of local weather on power fluctuations.
The researchers analyzed five years of wind observations from 11 monitoring stations along the U.S. East Coast from Florida to Maine. Based on wind speeds at each location, they estimated electrical power output from a hypothetical five-megawatt offshore turbine. After analyzing the patterns of wind energy among the stations along the coast, the team explored the seasonal effects on power output.
“Our analysis shows that when transmission systems will carry power from renewable sources, such as wind, they should be designed to consider large-scale meteorology, including the prevailing movement of high- and low-pressure systems,” Kempton said.
Colle explained the ideal configuration. “A north-south transmission geometry fits nicely with the storm track that shifts northward or southward along the U.S. East Coast on a weekly or seasonal time scale,” he said. “Because then at any one time a high or low pressure system is likely to be producing wind (and thus power) somewhere along the coast.”
The researchers found each hypothetical power generation site exhibited the expected ups and downs, but when they simulated a power line connecting them, the overall power output was smoothed so that maximum or minimum output was rare. In the particular five-year period studied, the power output of the simulated grid never completely stopped.
No wind turbines are presently located in U.S. waters, although projects have been proposed off the coasts of several Atlantic states. This research could prove useful as project sites are selected and developed.
Reducing the severity of wind power fluctuations would allow sufficient time for power suppliers to ramp up or down power production from other energy sources as needed. Solutions that reduce power fluctuations also are important if wind is to displace significant amounts of carbon-emitting energy sources, the researchers said.
The study was funded by the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and CAPES, a Brazilian research council.About the University of Delaware and the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment
The College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) strives to advance our understanding of Earth’s natural systems and the interactions of humans with the environment through engaged interdisciplinary research, teaching, and outreach.
The University of Delaware, the flagship institution of the state of Delaware, is one of the oldest Land Grant institutions in the nation, and one of only three institutions to also have Sea Grant and Space Grant status. The university is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university with very high research activity — a designation accorded fewer than 3 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. The university is a state-assisted, privately controlled institution with an enrollment of more than 16,000 undergraduates, 3,500 graduate students and 1,000 professional and continuing study students.About the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University
Andrea Boyle | Newswise Science News
A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes
20.07.2018 | Science China Press
Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers
20.07.2018 | Purdue University
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences