Table of Contents
Journal of Wind Energy
Volume 2013, Article ID 739162, 12 pages
Research Article

Statistical and Spectral Analysis of Wind Characteristics Relevant to Wind Energy Assessment Using Tower Measurements in Complex Terrain

1Drexel University, 3001 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
2Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512, USA

Received 18 April 2013; Accepted 10 June 2013

Academic Editor: Oliver Probst

Copyright © 2013 Radian Belu and Darko Koracin. 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.


The main objective of the study was to investigate spatial and temporal characteristics of the wind speed and direction in complex terrain that are relevant to wind energy assessment and development, as well as to wind energy system operation, management, and grid integration. Wind data from five tall meteorological towers located in Western Nevada, USA, operated from August 2003 to March 2008, used in the analysis. The multiannual average wind speeds did not show significant increased trend with increasing elevation, while the turbulence intensity slowly decreased with an increase were the average wind speed. The wind speed and direction were modeled using the Weibull and the von Mises distribution functions. The correlations show a strong coherence between the wind speed and direction with slowly decreasing amplitude of the multiday periodicity with increasing lag periods. The spectral analysis shows significant annual periodicity with similar characteristics at all locations. The relatively high correlations between the towers and small range of the computed turbulence intensity indicate that wind variability is dominated by the regional synoptic processes. Knowledge and information about daily, seasonal, and annual wind periodicities are very important for wind energy resource assessment, wind power plant operation, management, and grid integration.