NEWARK, Del., April 8 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists are proposing creation of a grid project to allow offshore wind turbines to generate steady power despite changes in wind speed and direction.
The researchers from the University of Delaware and Stony Brook University said offshore wind power resources are abundant, but wind turbines are currently unable to provide steady power due to natural fluctuations in wind direction and strength. The researchers, however, have determined the power output can be made more consistent by choosing project development locations that take advantage of regional weather patterns and by connecting wind power generators with a shared power line.
"Making wind-generated electricity more steady will enable wind power to become a much larger fraction of our electric sources," said University of Delaware Professor Willett Kempton, the study's lead author.
Reducing the severity of wind power fluctuations would allow sufficient time for power suppliers to ramp up or down power production from other energy sources as needed, the scientists said. Solutions that reduce power fluctuations also are important if wind is to displace significant amounts of carbon-emitting energy sources, the researchers said.
The study that included University of Delaware researcher Dana Veron and Stony Brook University Associate Professor Brian Colle is reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.