Wind power is seen as one of the most effective means available to combat the twin crises of global climate change and energy security. The annual market growth has established wind power as the leading renewable energy technology. Due to the availability of sparsely populated and flat open terrain, the Yucatán Peninsula located in eastern México is a promising region from the perspective of wind energy development but no comprehensive assessment of wind resource has been previously published.
A basic requirement when developing wind power projects is to study the main characteristic parameters of wind in relation to its geographical and temporal distribution. The analysis of diurnal and seasonal wind patterns are an important stage in the move towards commercial exploitation of wind power. The research developed during the PhD has comprehensively assessed the wind behaviour over the Yucatán Peninsula region covering long term patterns at three sites, a spatial study using short term data for nine sites, a vertical profile study on one inland site and an offshore study made on a pier at 6.65km from the North shore.
Monthly trends, directional behaviours and frequency distributions were identified and discussed. The characteristics of the wind speed variation reflected their proximity to the coast and whether they were influenced by wind coming predominantly from over the land or predominantly from over the sea. The atmospheric stability over the eastern seas was also analysed to assess thermal effects for different wind directions. Diurnal wind speed variations are shown to be affected in particular by the differing wind conditions associated with fetches over two distinct offshore regions. Seasonal behaviour suggests some departure from the oscillations expected from temperature variation. The offshore wind is thermally driven suggesting largely unstable conditions and the potential development of a shallow Stable Internal Boundary Layer.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.