On The Implications of Atmospheric Gravity Waves on Wind Power

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Norris, Luke (2011)
  • Publisher: The University of Edinburgh
  • Subject: Atmospheric Gravity Wave, Wind Energy, WindSim, MODIS

In view of the rapidly rising cost of fossil fuels and concerns over climate change, there can be little doubt that renewable energy is to play a large role in the future of our economic development. The impact of Atmospheric Gravity Waves (AGWs) on wind power is, at best, unclear. In this research, AGWs are successfully modelled both in theoretical and real world environments using the WindSim software package which has revealed a potential 7.4% drop in annual power output as a direct consequence of AGW events. Following this, MODIS imagery is used in order to determine the most effective detection methods of such events. It is shown that characteristics of AGWs can be identified through the emissive bands, where they are not apparent in the reflected bands – a crucial step in AGW detection throughout the day and night. Of all the current renewable energy solutions, wind power is currently the most scalable and the most likely to be of widespread use around the world – it is essential that this is not tarnished by poor turbine selection, or placement errors due to a lack of appreciation of AGW effects on wind turbines.
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