Imran Ahmed, Manager, Wind Resource, Kenersys India Ltd.
The Indian wind energy sector has estimated potential of installing 48,000 MW in India. While the potential is huge India has achieved around 13000 MW. The estimated figures can be doubled by the advanced technology & better wind resource assessment techniques that help to achieve more even at low wind speed sites.
The wind research experts need to adopt advanced analysis techniques to optimize wind farm efficiency & to identify new windy sites. The advance analysis model based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) helps us to overcome the shortcomings of linear flow models. The linear model limitations like failure in complex terrains, wake effect measurement in larger wind farms, turbulence, ruggedness effects & forest canopy, etc, can be better evaluated by commercial CFD model.
The short-term period wind record measurements based on traditional method are based on a randomly selected snapshot of the resource without any long-term historical data . To overcome these kind of variations, there are some advance meso -scale numerical weather prediction (NWP) datasets available in the wind industry market which gives long term wind historical records of a desired area. This can be utilized to maximize the energy predictions, & to identify new windy sites across the country.
These advance methodology can also be helpful for Indian offshore wind farm assessment in future. India has a 2000km offshore wind potential stretch with a 10 to 20km width for multiple windmill rows at a maximum depth level of 30 to 50meters. This offshore wind farm may add additional minimum 40000 MW to the Indian wind power installed capacity.
There is also a time to revise the criteria of potential sites set by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) based on the minimum mean wind power density (WPD) value of 200W/m² level. The new generation wind turbines called as Class-III can also perform well below the minimum criteria of 200 W/m².The correct wind power density needs to be evaluated as per site-specific weather conditions & long-term wind records co-relation. This will further add new areas to the wind potential sites.
The economics of a wind farm project are crucially dependent on the wind resource at a site. A robust estimate of the energy production of a prospective wind farm based on a wind and energy assessment is essential in supporting investment and financing decisions which would increase the feasibility of the viable wind power projects.A relatively small investment in these assessment programs will pay big dividends by reducing the risk and helping to maximize the return and improve the Internal Rate of Return (IRR).