Wind power is not only pollution free and renewable but is becoming more economical with technology development. The countries around the Arabian Gulf region are investing for wind powers both the land and in their marine space. A detailed study on wind power resource in the Arabian Gulf is not available. This paper is on the wind energy resource availability over Arabian Gulf waters, covering 2300 grid points. The data available with Coastal Information System data base at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait, from 1979 to 2015 is used. The probability density and power density were derived from these data source. Weibull probability density function has been fitted to the wind speed data and the wind power density was evaluated. The study is carried out at 10 m, 30 m and 50 m elevations. The central location of the Arabian Gulf has higher annual average wind speed, ranging from 6 to 8 m/s at 10 m elevation, 7 to 8 m/s at 30 m elevation and 8 to 9 m/s at 50 m elevation. The scale parameter “ c ” at central location of Arabian Gulf is found to range from 6 - 8 m/s for 10 m elevation, 7 - 8 m/s for 30 m elevation and 8 - 9 m/s for 50 m above sea level. The Weibull shape parameter k varies from 2.5 to 3 at the north and central of the Arabian Gulf. The annual mean wind power density over Arabian Gulf Waters is the highest in the central region of the Gulf. The power density at 10 m, 30 m and 50 m hub height varies between 200 to 300 w/m^{2} , 200 to 300 w/m^{2} and more than 300 w/m^{2} respectively. It is attractive to install large scale wind power generation at the central region of the Arabian Gulf and at elevations of 30 m or 50 m, since this region lies in Class 2 category of the Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States. The wind power density is attractive especially in summer season around the central region location in Arabian Gulf ( Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar ) , since high rate of power is used for air conditioning systems in summer.
Arabian Gulf is one of the promising seas in the Middle East and is located in between Saudi Arabia on its west and Iran on its east (
The countries surrounding the Arabian Gulf generate power mainly from hydrocarbons like oil and gas. Though hydrocarbon-based fuel can provide the needed energy in the future, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries have proposed targets for renewable energy (
A study by apricum group (https://www.apricum-group.com/gcc-countries-rising-stars-solar-wind/#_ftn1) reveals that wind power may be cheaper than oil based power, if the real export cost is considered for oil. For example, apricum group revealed that solar and wind power can effectively complement the existing conventional capacity and provide electricity at low cost of below 10 USD cent/kWh―about half the cost of oil-fired power generation at market prices. In fact, the most recent tender in Dubai has resulted in the remarkable tariff of 6 USD cent/kWh (unsubsidized). So, particularly oil-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are better off exporting oil instead of burning it domestically for power generation.
In general, GCC countries have an abundant source of oil and gas and hence at the beginning, the interest on renewable energy was feeble. However, the increase in the level of air pollution and environmental degradation of fossil fuel burning has created more interest on renewable energy investments (Doukas et al. [
Rehman et al. [
In Iran, Mostafaeipour [
It is clear from these studies that the countries around the Arabian Gulf have significant interest in exploiting the wind energy on the land and over the Arabian Gulf. However, a detailed knowledge of the wind power resource over the Arabian Gulf is missing. This is the main motivation for the present study. The results of this study will help the governments of different GCC countries for planning and implementation of wind power plants in their respective territorials waters in the Arabian Gulf.
A thorough knowledge of the statistical properties of the wind speed is essential for predicting the energy output of a wind energy conversion system. Because of the high variability in space and time of wind energy, it is important to verify that the analyzing method used for the wind data will yield the estimated energy of the wind speed distribution. The wind variation for a typical site is usually described using the so-called Weibull distribution. In this study, attention is given to the Weibull two parameter (k, the shape parameter, and c, the scale parameter) functions because it has been found to fit a wide collection of wind speed data around the world. The main objectives of this study are to come up with wind energy map of Arabian Gulf based on statistical analysis of long term data. It is strongly hoped that this new wind energy map will have many potential uses including identification of the best location in the Arabian Gulf for installing offshore wind energy farms.
1) Wind Power density function: It is well known that the power of the wind at speed v through a wind turbines blade sweep area (A) increases as the cube of its velocity and can be calculated as follows (Ahmed [
P ( v ) = 1 2 ρ A v 3 (1)
where ρ is the mean air density (1.225 kg/m^{3} at average atmospheric pressure at sea level and at 15˚C). However, as a consequence of the cubic dependence of power with wind velocity, the mean speed remains an unsuitable measure when assessing the available wind power density.
It is also well known that the statistical behavior of the wind can be approximated by the Weibull distribution function (Weibull [
P w = 1 2 ρ c 3 ¬ [ 1 + 3 k ] (2)
To following equation is used to calculate the Weibull shape parameter or factor (k) by iteration method (maximum likelihood method):
k = ( ∑ 1 n v k L n ( v ) ∑ 1 n v k − ∑ 1 n L n ( v ) n ) − 1
where c is the Weibull scale parameter (m/s), and is given by:
c = v m ¬ ( 1 + 1 k ) (3)
where ¬ the gamma function and “n” is is the total wind data record. Then, Weibull scale parameter is calculated as
c = ( ∑ 1 n v k n ) 1 k
The two significant parameters k and c are closely related to the mean value of the wind speed v_{m} (Celik [
P R = 3 π ρ c 3 ( π 4 ) 3 2 (4)
Errors in calculating the power densities using the distributions in comparison to values of the probability density distributions derived from measured wind speed values can be found by the following Equation:
Error ( % ) = P W , R − P m , R P m , R (5)
where P W , R is the mean power density calculated from either the Weibull or Rayleigh function used in the calculation of the error and P m , R is the wind power density assessed from the probability density distribution, derived from the measured wind speed values which serves as the reference mean power density.
2) Wind speed variation with height: Since the wind speed data are available at 1 height of 10 m from the ground or mean water level, it is necessary to assess the wind speed at the center of turbine hub, which varies from 30 m to 50 m depends on its capacity. This requires an equation that predicts the wind speed at one height in terms of the measured speed at another height. The most common expression for the variation of wind speed with height is the power law (Perez [
v 2 v 1 = [ h 2 h 1 ] ∝ (6)
where v_{1} and v_{2} are the mean wind speeds at heights h_{1} and h_{2}, respectively. The exponent ∝ depends on factors such as surface roughness and atmospheric stability as shown in
Numerically, it lies in the range 0.0 - 0.5, with the most frequently adopted roughness value being 0.5 with roughness length of 0.0024.
The Equation (6) can be written as follows:
v 2 v 1 = ln ( h 2 r ) ln ( h 1 r ) (7)
where r is Roughness Length (m), v_{2} wind speeds at selected elevation from ground level h_{2}.
The wind speed at a certain height above ground level is
v 2 = v 1 [ ln ( h 2 r ) ln ( h 1 r ) ] (8)
The fact that the wind profile is twisted towards a lower speed as we move closer to ground level is usually called wind shear. Wind shear may also be important when designing wind turbines.
The information provided in this methodology section is used for assessing the Weibull parameters over the Arabian Gulf and its probability distribution.
Roughness | Roughness Length m | Energy Index % | Landscape Type |
---|---|---|---|
0 | 0.0002 | 100 | Water surface |
0.5 | 0.0024 | 73 | Completely open terrain with a smooth surface, e.g. concrete runways in airports, mowed grass, etc. |
1 | 0.03 | 52 | Open agricultural area without fences and hedgerows and very scattered buildings. Only softly rounded hills |
1.5 | 0.055 | 45 | Agricultural land with some houses and 8 meter tall sheltering hedgerows with a distance of approx. 1250 meters |
2 | 0.1 | 39 | Agricultural land with some houses and 8 meter tall sheltering hedgerows with a distance of approx. 500 meters |
2.5 | 0.2 | 31 | Agricultural land with many houses, shrubs and plants, or 8 meter tall sheltering hedgerows with a distance of approx. 250 meters |
3 | 0.4 | 24 | Villages, small towns, agricultural land with many or tall sheltering hedgerows, forests and very rough and uneven terrain |
3.5 | 0.8 | 18 | Larger cities with tall buildings |
Data for wind speed used in the present calculations were obtained for the period 1979-2015 from the Coastal Information System Database at KISR (Al-Salem [
§ The central n area of Arabian Gulf has higher wind speed ranging from 6 - 8 m/s at 10 m elevation, 7 - 8 m/s for 30 m elevation and 8 - 9 m/s for 50 m elevation.
§ The northern area of Arabian Gulf has moderate wind speed ranging from 3 - 4 at 10 m elevation, 4 - 5 m/s for 30 m elevation and 5 - 6 m/s for 50 m elevation.
§ The southern area of Arabian Gulf has low wind speed ranging from 2.5 - 3.0 m/s for 10 m elevation, 3 - 4 m/s for 30 m elevation and 4 - 4.5 m/s for 50 m elevation.
Hence it is clear that the central area of the Arabian Gulf is attractive for extracting wind energy.
The variation of wind velocity is often described by using the Weibull two-parameter density function. As described earlier, the Weibull shape function k and scale factor c are calculated analytically from the available data and are presented as a maps of mean values in
The average annual maps of wind power densities were calculated from CIS wind speed database and from Weibull distribution prediction are shown in
・ The wind power density over Arabian Gulf Waters is the highest in the central region of the Gulf. The power density at 10 m hub height varies between 200 to 300 w/m^{2}; at 30 m, it varies between 200 to 300 w/m^{2} and at 50 m, it is more than 300 w/m^{2}.
・ The wind power density over the southern region of the Arabian Gulf is the lowest. The wind power density at 10 m hub height is found to vary between 100 to 120 w/m^{2}; at 30 m, it varies between 120 to 150 w/m^{2} and at 50 m, it is found to vary between 150 to 200 w/m^{2}.
・ In the northern region of the Arabian Gulf, the wind power density at 10 m, 30 m ad 50 m hub heights vary between 100 to 170 w/m^{2}, 180 to 190 w/m^{2} and 200 to 220 w/m^{2} respectively
The annual average wind power density maps of the whole Arabian Gulf are displayed at
It is clear that
・ During the winter season (December-February), the wind power is high at central region of Arabian Gulf and moderate at both north and southern region.
・ During spring season (March-May), the wind power is high at central region of Arabian Gulf, moderately high at north, but low at southern region.
・ During summer season (June-August), the wind power is high at central and northern regions of Arabian Gulf and moderate in the southern region. However, during August, the wind power density becomes low over the whole Arabia Gulf waters.
・ During the fall season (September-November), the wind power is low at all the regions over Arabian Gulf waters; but in November the wind power become high at the central.
It is to be noted that the power consumption is high during summer due to powering for air conditioning and hence, the high wind power availability at the central and northern Arabian Gulf region is attractive for countries around these regions.
Wind Power Class | Wind Speed (m/s) | WPD (w/m^{2}) | Resource Potential |
---|---|---|---|
1 | 0 - 4.9 | 0 - 243 | Not suitable |
2 | 4.9 - 6.9 | 243 - 378 | Marginal |
3 | 6.9 - 7.5 | 378 - 500 | Fair |
4 | 7.5 - 8.1 | 500 - 616 | Good |
5 | 8.1 - 8.6 | 616 - 748 | Excellent |
6 | 8.6 - 9.4 | 748 - 978 | Outstanding |
Kuwait E48˚18'0.0" N29˚12'0.0" | Saudi Arabia E50˚30'0" N26˚36'0.0" | Bahrain E50˚48'0.0" N26˚18’0.0" | Qatar E51˚18'0.0" N26˚12'0.0" | Unit Arab Emirate E54˚48'0." N25˚00'0.0" | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|
January | 141 | 349 | 385 | 329 | 138 |
February | 175 | 381 | 428 | 389 | 168 |
March | 175 | 326 | 356 | 348 | 176 |
April | 156 | 233 | 247 | 240 | 151 |
May | 157 | 255 | 282 | 296 | 160 |
Jun | 259 | 405 | 428 | 378 | 115 |
July | 233 | 272 | 276 | 264 | 110 |
August | 167 | 184 | 188 | 169 | 77 |
September | 125 | 154 | 163 | 143 | 71 |
October | 101 | 166 | 179 | 161 | 64 |
November | 124 | 279 | 310 | 276 | 107 |
December | 139 | 329 | 357 | 297 | 113 |
1979-2015. According to this table, the central region of the Arabian Gulf (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar) has a good wind power regime for economical installation of large-scale wind power production, lying in Class 2 as shown in
The Interest in renewable energy in the GCC countries has been on the rise in recent years. With the region’s consumption expected to continue growing at a fast pace over the next two decades, renewable energy have become an important consideration in government strategies to diversify the domestic energy mix. The renewable energy could also help mitigate the natural gas shortages GCC economies could experience over the coming decades. In Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, local production has already been outstripped by domestic market consumption. To examine the wind power potential of the GCC countries over their territorial waters in Arabian Gulf,
・ Countries, which are located at the central zone of Arabian Gulf waters (such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar) have annual wind power of 277, 300, 275 w/m^{2}, respectively. This order of wind power is attractive for large-scale power production, lying in Class 2 of the US wind power density classification (Elliott [
・ Countries located at the South zone of Arabian Gulf waters (United Arab Emirate) have annual wind power of 120 w/m^{2}, which is low for economic large-scale power production.
・ Countries located at the north zone of Arabian Gulf waters (Kuwait) have annual wind power of 166 w/m^{2}, which is acceptable for economical medium-scale power production.
It is important to compare the probability distribution of the wind power assessed based on the data and derived from Weibull distribution to assess how good Weibull distribution is for the present study.
The potential of wind energy resource over Arabian Gulf waters, covering 2300 grid points is carried out using data available with Coastal Information System
G.C.C. Countries | Map Location | Mean Annual WPD w/m^{2} | Total Annual Energy (8760 hr) w/m^{2} |
---|---|---|---|
Kuwait | E48^{˚}18'0.0" N29^{˚}12'0.0" | 166 | 1454 |
Saudi Arabia | E50^{˚}30'0.0" N26^{˚}36'0.0" | 277 | 2426 |
Bahrain | E50^{˚}28'0.0" N26^{˚}18'0.0" | 300 | 2628 |
Qatar | E51^{˚}18'0.0" N26^{˚}12'0.0" | 275 | 2409 |
Unit Arab Emirate | E54^{˚}48'0.0" N25^{˚}00'0.0" | 120 | 1051 |
(CIS) data base from 1979 to 2015. The probability density and power density were derived from these data. Weibull probability density function has been fitted to the wind speed data and the wind power density was evaluated. The study is carried out at 10 m, 30 m and 50 m elevations. The most important conclusions of this study are summarized as follows:
・ The central location of the Arabian Gulf has higher annual average wind speed, ranging from 6 - 8 m/s at 10 m elevation, 7 - 8 m/s at 30 m elevation and 8 - 9 m/s at 50 m elevation.
・ The scale parameter c at central location of Arabian Gulf is found to range from 6 - 8 m/s for 10 m elevation, 7 - 8 m/s for 30 m elevation and 8 - 9 m/s for 50 m above sea level.
・ The Weibull shape parameter k varies from 2.5 - 3 at the north and central of the Arabian Gulf.
・ The annual mean wind power density over Arabian Gulf Waters is the highest in the central region of the Gulf. The power density at 10 m, 30 m and 50 m hub height varies between 200 to 300 w/m^{2}, 200 to 300 w/m^{2} and more than 300 w/m^{2} respectively.
・ It is attractive to install large scale wind power generation at the central region of the Arabian Gulf and at elevations of 30 m or 50 m, since this region lies in Class 2 category of the Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States (Elliott [
・ The wind power density is attractive especially in summer season around the central region location in Arabian Gulf (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar).
Al-Salem, K., Neelamani, S. and Al-Nassar, W. (2018) Wind Energy Map of Arabian Gulf. Natural Resources, 9, 212-228. https://doi.org/10.4236/nr.2018.95014