Calculate your wind energy resource.
Alternative Energy Systems is happy to discuss wind power generation on a site-by-site basis. To accurately estimate the power that a wind machine will produce requires an assessment of the wind resource at your site. The wind resource accounts for both wind speed and the duration of sustained wind. In general, a stronger wind means more power. More windy days means more opportunities to generate power.
Estimating Wind Power
Most wind machines can accurately estimate power production for various wind speeds. They can also estimate annual power production based on average annual wind speed for a particular site. The only precise way to judge the wind resource at a particular site, however, is by using a data monitor designed for wind assessment. This device is called an anemometer, and the monitoring period is one year to account for the wind during all four seasons. Since installation of a recording anemometer is expensive, you might first elect to examine the available wind data for areas near your home.
Wind Resource Data
An extensive report entitled Wind Resource Evaluation documents the wind energy potential in the Ashland area. The report was prepared by Philip Barbour and Stel Walker, PhD, of the Energy Resources Research Laboratory at Oregon State University. It was sponsored by the Energy Trust of Oregon.
You can also visit the Energy Trust Wind Speed Map which can help estimate the wind potential at your site.
Another resource that can be helpful is the Ashland page of the Wunderground website. At the bottom of the page you can find numerous sites for Jackson County where wind information is available. Be sure to use the site nearest your location.
Other resources include:
Wind Energy in Southern Oregon
Unfortunately, Southern Oregon generally has a low wind resource compared to other parts of the country. With an annual average wind speed of 8-10 miles per hour, the Rogue Valley is below the minimum industry standard of 12 mph. In most cases, our area will not qualify for the utility incentives available from The Energy Trust of Oregon. This often makes the installation of a solar electric system a better choice for many customers, since the installed cost per unit of energy produced will be much lower.
We’d be glad to help you calculate your wind energy resource. Just give us a call.