The objective of this project was to perform an analysis of all of the major aspects of implementing electrical power generation using wind energy in a specific location. The project consisted of three main sections: location selection, turbine modeling and selection, and an economic analysis of the potential project as a whole. A limiting factor for a location was the availability of adequate wind speed data for analysis of the area’s potential. With these criteria, several locations were considered, and the Dominican Republic was selected because of high wind energy potential as well as high demand for electricity. There were several regions of the country with class 4 winds [1], and the average cost of electricity was very high at $0.15/kWh [2]. For the modeling and design of a wind turbine, a program named PROPID was used, which is a tool that takes design and wind parameters and returns simulated data such as power curves. The software was first validated for known configurations, to show the accuracy of the program, and it was then used to iteratively design new turbine configurations. The design of a popular 1300 kW commercial turbine, the Nordex N60, was scaled down to produce 1000 kW, and then gradually redesigned to increase the ratio of the power output to the surface area of the turbine, which was termed the design-factor, which would help to increase profitability of the turbine. The design-factor was increased from 320.9 for the original design to 466.2 for the final design. The final portion of the project was an economic analysis of a proposed wind farm. A software tool called HOMER was used, as well as Microsoft Excel’s internal rate of return function to calculate the long-term return of the project. Initial and annual costs were estimated based on available data for existing projects, and a 10 MW, 20 year life-span project was simulated using the newly designed turbine. Total levelized cost of energy was found to be between $0.042 and $0.057/kWh, depending on actual costs, and the overall annual return on investment in the project was calculated to be between a very conservatively determined value of 9.1% and a more general value of 12.9%. These values are limited in accuracy, and a more detailed study would be required prior to further project consideration, however they do indicate that this area is highly likely to have profitable wind energy resources.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.