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Heliyon. 2016 Nov 10;2(11):e00187. eCollection 2016 Nov.

Wind energy potential assessment of Cameroon's coastal regions for the installation of an onshore wind farm.

Author information

1
University of Buea, Department of Physics, 65 Buea, Cameroon; African Institute for Mathematical Science, 608 Limbe, Cameroon; Polytechnic, Saint Jerome Catholic University Institute of Douala, 5949 Douala, Cameroon.
2
University of Buea, Department of Physics, 65 Buea, Cameroon.
3
University of Buea, Department of Physics, 65 Buea, Cameroon; University of Bamenda, Department of Physics, Bamenda, Cameroon.

Abstract

For the future installation of a wind farm in Cameroon, the wind energy potentials of three of Cameroon's coastal cities (Kribi, Douala and Limbe) are assessed using NASA average monthly wind data for 31 years (1983-2013) and compared through Weibull statistics. The Weibull parameters are estimated by the method of maximum likelihood, the mean power densities, the maximum energy carrying wind speeds and the most probable wind speeds are also calculated and compared over these three cities. Finally, the cumulative wind speed distributions over the wet and dry seasons are also analyzed. The results show that the shape and scale parameters for Kribi, Douala and Limbe are 2.9 and 2.8, 3.9 and 1.8 and 3.08 and 2.58, respectively. The mean power densities through Weibull analysis for Kribi, Douala and Limbe are 33.7 W/m2, 8.0 W/m2 and 25.42 W/m2, respectively. Kribi's most probable wind speed and maximum energy carrying wind speed was found to be 2.42 m/s and 3.35 m/s, 2.27 m/s and 3.03 m/s for Limbe and 1.67 m/s and 2.0 m/s for Douala, respectively. Analysis of the wind speed and hence power distribution over the wet and dry seasons shows that in the wet season, August is the windiest month for Douala and Limbe while September is the windiest month for Kribi while in the dry season, March is the windiest month for Douala and Limbe while February is the windiest month for Kribi. In terms of mean power density, most probable wind speed and wind speed carrying maximum energy, Kribi shows to be the best site for the installation of a wind farm. Generally, the wind speeds at all three locations seem quite low, average wind speeds of all the three studied locations fall below 4.0m/s which is far below the cut-in wind speed of many modern wind turbines. However we recommend the use of low cut-in speed wind turbines like the Savonius for stand alone low energy needs.

KEYWORDS:

Applied mathematics; Computational mathematics; Mathematics

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