Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2016, Article ID 5790464, 12 pages
Research Article

The Impact of Variable Wind Shear Coefficients on Risk Reduction of Wind Energy Projects

Engineering Department, Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture, Truro, NS, Canada B2N 5E3

Received 15 June 2016; Accepted 4 October 2016

Academic Editor: Shafiqur Rehman

Copyright © 2016 Kenneth W. Corscadden et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Estimation of wind speed at proposed hub heights is typically achieved using a wind shear exponent or wind shear coefficient (WSC), variation in wind speed as a function of height. The WSC is subject to temporal variation at low and high frequencies, ranging from diurnal and seasonal variations to disturbance caused by weather patterns; however, in many cases, it is assumed that the WSC remains constant. This assumption creates significant error in resource assessment, increasing uncertainty in projects and potentially significantly impacting the ability to control gird connected wind generators. This paper contributes to the body of knowledge relating to the evaluation and assessment of wind speed, with particular emphasis on the development of techniques to improve the accuracy of estimated wind speed above measurement height. It presents an evaluation of the use of a variable wind shear coefficient methodology based on a distribution of wind shear coefficients which have been implemented in real time. The results indicate that a VWSC provides a more accurate estimate of wind at hub height, ranging from 41% to 4% reduction in root mean squared error (RMSE) between predicted and actual wind speeds when using a variable wind shear coefficient at heights ranging from 33% to 100% above the highest actual wind measurement.