Research Output
Wind resource assessment: statistical and computational fluid-dynamic analysis
  Wind is an important source of renewable energy and is widely available, despite the changing condition. In recent years a growing number of manufacturers have produced small wind turbines suitable for utilisation by individual householders or small businesses. These systems are designed to install in towns or cities. This raises the question about the potential of wind energy resource in build-up areas. This thesis sets to investigate the wind energy resource implication in the build-up areas by understanding the wind climatology of urban areas. As well as the overall mean wind speed, knowledge of the wind speed distribution (due to the non-linear relationship between wind speed and wind power) and the wind-direction distribution for optimum turbine siting is required. Other areas that have been considered are short-duration fluctuations in both speed and direction as these can affect the efficiency of the turbine.
The aims of this research are to study the local wind conditions and estimate the available wind resource for the wind-energy driven generation of electricity in Edinburgh by taking into account of its climate, wind data and topographical effects. To achieve these aims eleven years of Met office data was investigated in addition to analysis of the data collected from locally installed weather station. Diurnal effect on wind condition was studied and found to be more pronounced in Edinburgh’s rural area than its urban conurbation. It was also found that the available wind energy in the urban area is 30% less than that of the rural area. Turbulence in wind speed and direction of flow was also investigated. Careful consideration of all the parameters defining and affecting the prevailing wind revealed the wind resource in Edinburgh’s urban area to be insufficient for viable generation of wind energy through the available technology of micro WEC (wind energy converter) systems.
A CFD analysis was also performed to determine wind resource differences because of different mounting locations of wind equipment over the building under consideration. As a part of the project, a commercially available wind turbine was installed and monitored to investigate its performance in urban area. The research study finally suggests that the available grid connected micro WEC system cannot provide a cost effective contribution to urban Edinburgh’s renewable energy generation.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    06 February 2012

  • Publication Status:


  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    621 Electronic & mechanical engineering


Irshad, W. Wind resource assessment: statistical and computational fluid-dynamic analysis. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Renewable energy; wind; turbines; climatology; urban environment; wind energy converter systems;

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