Efficiency of High-Altitude Wind Turbines in the Andes: Air Density and Turbulence Effects
Wind power is one of the most important solutions to producing green and sustainable energy. The number of wind farms in South America has largely increased over the last decade. Qollpana is just one example of a wind farm situated over complex terrain at 2900 metres above sea level. The air density is decreased by 40 percent relative to sea level due to the high altitude, and the topographic characteristics cause a high level of turbulence. The wind farm in Qollpana has two 1.5 MW and eight 3 MW wind turbines with an installed capacity of 27 MW, and this project is critical for the implementation of more wind farms at high altitudes in the Andes. The primary results showed that October is the month with the highest average wind speed, and the lowest is February. This study analyses the wind farm’s capacity factor, the air density and the impact of turbulence on wind turbine performance as well. The key results show that the wind farm’s monthly capacity factor ranges from 0.08 to 0.67. In addition, the results showed an important effect of turbulence strength on the performance of the turbine. These findings, however, are only true for the time studied and we are still working on the region’s mesoscale and microscale meteorology to improve awareness and the certainty of wind turbine performance.
Author (S) Details
Aero-Thermo-Mechanics Department, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 50, CP 165/41, Brussels, 1050, Belgium and San Simon University, Centro de Investigaciones en Energía, Cochabamba, 2500, Bolivia.
German International Cooperation (GIZ), Wind Energy Advisor to Electric Company ENDE-CORANI, Cochabamba, 2500, Bolivia.
San Simon University, Centro de Investigaciones en Energía, Cochabamba, 2500, Bolivia.
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