Investigating seasonal wind energy potential in Vredendal, South Africa
Global warming and the energy crisis have necessitated an urgent exploitation and utilisation of renewable energy. Wind energy has gained popularity over the years because of vast availability of its resource. A study was carried out to investigate the stochastic characteristics of the available wind energy at installation sites. Data for a ten-minute interval wind speed collected over a period of five years and measured at a height of 10, 40 and 62 m in Vredendal was considered. Wind speed data was arranged in seasonal format and its statistical distribution investigated based on Weibull, lognormal and gamma distributions. The Anderson-Darling test and Akaike information criterion were used to evaluate the goodness of fit. The results showed that wind power at different heights and time stamps exhibited different statistical distribution. It was found that wind turbines in Vredendal must be installed as high as possible to harness wind power effectively. During summer and spring, there was a high potential for wind power availability compared with that of winter.
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