Globally the amount of installed terrestrial wind power both onshore and offshore has grown rapidly over the last twenty years. Most large onshore and offshore wind turbines are designed to harvest winds within the atmospheric boundary layer, which can be vary variable due to terrain and weather effects. The height of the neutral atmospheric boundary layer is estimated at above 1300m. A relatively new concept is to harvest more consistent wind conditions above the atmospheric boundary layer using high altitude wind harvesting devices such as tethered kites, air foils and dirigible rotors. This paper presents a techno-economic feasibility study of high altitude wind power in Northern Ireland. First this research involved a state of the art review of the resource and the technologies proposed for high altitude wind power. Next the techno-economic analysis involving four steps is presented. In step one, the potential of high altitude wind power in Northern Ireland using online datasets (e.g. Earth System Research Laboratory) is estimated. In step two a map for easier visualisation of geographical limitations (e.g. airports, areas of scenic beauty, flight paths, military training areas, settlements etc.) that could impact on high altitude wind power is developed. In step three the actual feasible resource available is recalculated using the visualisation map to determine the ‘optimal’ high altitude wind power locations in Northern Ireland. In the last step four the list of equipment, resources and budget needed to build a demonstrator is provided in the form of a concise techno-economic appraisal using the findings of the previous three steps.
|Publication status||In preparation - Sep 2015|
- wind power, high altitude, geographical information systems, atmospheric boundary layer