Award Date

8-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Darrell Pepper, Chair

Second Committee Member

William Culbreth

Third Committee Member

Hui Zhao

Graduate Faculty Representative

Laxmi Gewali

Number of Pages

87

Abstract

A wind energy analysis of the Nellis Dunes area in Nevada was conducted. A DEM file which contains the elevation data was used to generate the surface model and to create a 3-D mesh of the region. Local meteorological tower data collected for a period of one year was used to generate the diagnostic initial wind fields. Upper level wind fields were created using a surface boundary layer technique along with linear interpolation of the tower level wind fields. The vertical components of the velocities were adjusted using the equation of continuity. Mass consistent 3-D wind fields were then calculated using the finite element method. Divergence reduction of the complete wind field was conducted using an iterative procedure.

The statistical analysis of the measured monthly averaged wind data was also performed. The velocity distribution analysis of the measured data was undertaken, and showed a good fit with the Weibull distribution of wind velocity. The wind rose diagrams for all the tower locations were plotted to obtain the monthly averaged wind directions for the entire year.

The wind velocities generated from the mass-consistent wind model were used as input to calculate wind power density maps. Monthly wind power density maps for the entire year were generated. The potential locations for establishing a wind farm is discussed.

Keywords

Microscale Modeling; Nevada – Nellis dunes; Numerical simulation; Wind energy; Wind flow modeling; Wind power; Wind power plants; Winds — Speed

Disciplines

Atmospheric Sciences | Mechanical Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Sustainability

Language

English


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