14 Aug '11, 12pm

Solving wind power’s variability with more wind power

Solving wind power’s variability with more wind power

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States , a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's New Rules Project . One solution to the variability of wind power is more wind. The output from a single wind turbine can vary widely over a short period of time, as wind goes from gusty to calm. The adjacent graphic (from this report [PDF]) illustrates how a single turbine in Texas provided varying power output over a single day, varying from under 20 percent of capacity to near 100 percent! But the same report also illustrated the smoothing effect when the output from these five wind sites was averaged. The following chart shows (in dark orange), the smoothing effect of output when the wind output was averaged over five sites. The impact is significant, and the optimized system varies from 15 to 50 percent of capacity, compared to individual turbine variabi...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/wind-power/2011-08-11-solving-wind-p...

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