Wind Energy Monitoring in Wekweeti: 2010 - 2012

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: physical sciences, atmospheric sciences, wind energy

Principal Investigator: Trimble, Annika EV (33)
Licence Number: 14852
Organization: Aurora Research Institute
Licenced Year(s): 2012 2011 2010
Issued: Feb 08, 2011

Objective(s): To quantify Wekweeti’s wind energy resources.

Project Description: The objective of this wind monitoring project is to quantify Wekweeti’s wind energy resources. The Aurora Research Institute recently completed a desktop study concerning wind energy in Wekweeti. Computer modelling and analysis of data from nearby weather stations indicates that the wind speeds in the community may be strong enough to support the use of wind energy in Wekweeti at the proposed project sites. Two years of wind measurements on a hilltop near the hamlet will be necessary to confirm this prediction and the viability of using wind energy in Wekweeti. A smaller 10 meter wind turbine is also proposed for installation near Wekweeti's anticipated new complex to displace the building's electrical load and to provide additional data for assessment of the hamlet's wind resources.

Installation of wind tower and wind monitoring equipment at the proposed monitoring site:
In the pre-feasibility report a suitable site for the wind tower was identified on a hilltop northwest of Wekweeti. Equipment will be transported to the hilltop site either by helicopter or with ATVs and trailers.

The tower installation will consist of driving anchors into the ground, laying the tower and sensors out on the ground, and then lifting it into place from the ground through the use of ginpole and electric winch. This may require clearing a minimal amount of brush and vegetation to accommodate site access (if a helicopter is unavailable) and installation of the tower and guy wires. No heavy equipment will be required during tower installation – only hand tools and small power tools.

The wind monitoring equipment that will be installed includes a 34m tower with 6 anemometers, which will be positioned at 10m, 20m and 30m (2 at each level). All anemometers will be calibrated prior to installation. Other sensors will include a wind vane and temperature sensors.

A smaller 10-meter tall wind monitoring station may also be installed near the Wekweeti’s new complex to further assess the hamlet’s wind energy potential. These measurements will benefit the owners of the Complex by offsetting the building’s electrical load, and will provide an extra data set to strengthen the analysis of Wekweeti’s wind climate.

The tower installation and instrumentation will be led by the project engineer who has conducted all of the wind tower installations in the Northwest Territories to date and will be supported by a technician from the Aurora Research Institute. The engineer has been working on wind monitoring projects with Aurora Research Institute since 2004.

The site installation will be conducted with the assistance of one or two community members who will be trained to maintain the wind monitoring equipment and data collection at the site.

Wind monitoring data collection, analysis and reporting:
The community wind monitor will visit the wind tower site monthly and maintain the monitoring site equipment. Data files will be downloaded monthly. Reporting and data management will be maintained by the Aurora Research Institute staff in conjunction with the project engineer.

Wind monitoring data will be collected from the wind tower for a period of two years. All data will be stored at the Aurora Research Institute and will be analyzed by the project engineer.

A local wind monitor will be hired from the community of Wekweeti to assist with the wind tower installation and ongoing wind data collection. All of the project personnel will stay in Wekweeti during installation and will lease equipment locally.

The results from this study will be compiled into a wind analysis report which will be posted on the Aurora Research Institute website. Copies of the report will also be distributed to nearby community organizations and project partners, and a plain language report will be distributed for community members.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.