The use of cellular communication masts for wind share research
Keywords: wind speed measurements, CFD modelling, lattice mast, wind shear
AbstractPrior to the start of any Wind Power Park construction project, it is necessary to carefully assess available wind potential in the selected area. The cost of such investigative studies is considerable – even with a relatively small 70 m tall mast it reaches several tens of thousands of Euros. In order to reduce costs related to wind speed measurements it is suggested to use the existing cellular communication masts that are widely spread in Europe. The study presents a methodological approach and the results of wind speed and wind shear measurements performed with the use of lattice cellular communication masts at the height of up to 100 m. A CFD model of airflow around a cellular communication mast structure was created in order to explore the impact of mast structure on the quality of wind speed measurements. The paper presents the results of the CFD modelling in the form of contour maps depicting the severity of airflow disturbances around the mast. The study is based on experimental measurements conducted in 2018 in three coastal sites of Latvia. At each site wind speed and direction were measured at several heights along with air temperature, humidity and air pressure. The experimentally obtained data in combination with the analysis of modelled CFD results shows the possibility of using cellular communication masts for accurate measurements of wind speed. Overall, the study shows that the proposed approach to wind speed measurements can result in high quality data and reduced overall expenses.