Offshore Wind Power Potential

by Paul J. Ossenbruggen, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, N.h.,
L. David Meeker, Assoc. Prof. of Mathematics; Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.,
Gerard P. Pregent, New Hampshire State Climatologist; Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Energy Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 81-92

Document Type: Journal Paper


The offshore region has been cited as a location to construct wind energy conversion systems because this region offers reduced surface drag; therefore, higher wind speeds and greater wind power may be harnessed than on land. A result of a statistical analysis of wind speed records for the Gulf of Maine region shows that six seasonal wind groups can be identified and that the gamma distribution adequately describes the wind speed frequency. The results show that for six months of the year higher wind speeds can be obtained offshore than inland. The use of the gamma distribution of wind speed for the operational characteristics of wind turbines show there is questionable gain in operating a turbine in an offshore environment. Historical wind speed records of the Boston Logan Airport, the Boston Lightship, and data collected on board ships that traversed the Gulf of Maine region were used in the study.

Subject Headings: Wind speed | Wind power | Gulfs | Gamma function | Turbines | Offshore construction | Energy conversion | Drag (fluid dynamics) | Gulf of Maine | Boston | Massachusetts | United States

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