Evaluation of Wind Shear Patterns at Midwest Wind Energy Facilities: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The U.S. Department of Energy-Electric Power Research Institute (DOE-EPRI) Wind Turbine Verification Program (TVP) has included several wind energy facilities in the Midwestern United States. At several of these projects, a strong diurnal shear pattern has been observed. During the day, low and sometimes negative shear has been measured. During night hours, very high positive shear is frequentlyobserved. These high nighttime shear values are of concern due to the potential for high stresses across the rotor. The resulting loads on turbine components could result in failures. Conversely, the effects of high nighttime wind shear could benefit wind generated energy production in the Midwest by providing a source of greater hub-height wind speeds, particularly for multi-megawatt turbinesthat utilize tall towers. This paper presents an overview of the observed wind shear at each of the Midwest TVP projects, focusing on diurnal patterns and the frequency of very high nighttime shear at the sites. Turbine fault incidence is examined to determine the presence or absence of a correlation to periods of high shear. Implications of shear-related failures are discussed for other Midwestprojects that use megawatt-scale turbines. In addition, this paper discusses the importance of accurate shear estimates for project development.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2002
EventAmerican Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2002 Conference - Portland, Oregon
Duration: 2 Jun 20025 Jun 2002


ConferenceAmerican Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2002 Conference
CityPortland, Oregon

Bibliographical note

6/02/04: author order corrected on cover to match submitted paper.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-32492


  • Midwest wind projects
  • wind energy
  • wind energy facilities
  • wind shear patterns


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