Using a Numerical Weather Prediction Model, researchers at BCU are aiming to identify ideal locations for offshore wind farms in the Phillipines, thus allowing greater acces to clean, renewable energy.
Developing countries are hugely dependent on fossil fuels as the primary source for energy. However, the volatility for fossil fuel pricing pose an adverse impact to economies which highlights the use of renewable resources as a way to attain energy independence for many developing nations. Wind resource is a renewable resource that has greater availability in offshore locations in comparison to sites found on land. The Philippines has the potential to generate power from offshore wind but a thorough wind resource assessment (WRA) must be made for wind energy mapping. WRA is essential for any wind energy development in order to minimise risks in investments. This study aims to explore the use of the numerical weather prediction (NWP) method in making a preliminary WRA for offshore regions around the Palawan Island, Philippines.
The aim is to generate a wind simulations over the Western waters of Palawan Island, Philippines using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. Different input operational and reanalysis datasets were used, with varying planetary boundary layer (PBL) configurations, to test WRF’s sensitivity for the studied area.
The research was carried out using WindSim, a wind farm design software based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The input data for the WindSim model was obtained from the outputs of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) simulation results. A test simulation using WindSim was performed and ship data from the 7 Southeast Asian Studies (7SEAS) were processed so that it could be used for validating the WindSim results.
This is an ongoing research project. The work is now focused on the WindSim simulations for the coastal areas of Palawan Island. It will provide new insights on the dynamics of wind around the area that are close to shore. This is vital since mesoscale models like WRF are unable to resolve these atmospheric dynamics in such fine scales. The results will enable a better understanding of wind profiles in these areas because it presents new and important knowledge to subtropical and tropical land-sea interaction as well as to the physical dynamics in offshore locations.