The successfulness of utilization of wind turbines depends heavily on the wind climate. Reliable information is usually hard to obtain in developing countries, especially at heights that small wind turbines operate in (6-24m). Nevertheless we have found and based our economic feasibility study on a detailed wind report applicable for large wind turbines. Our analysis using this report as reference and tuned for small wind applications – supported by professional wind site engineers – can be downloaded here.
However a volunteer that has been for almost a year in Mali has expressed his concern about the overall wind condition. We therefore decided to invest in an additional assessment, understanding the gravity of this requirement: Conduct a wind speed measurement campaign at heights that the small wind turbines are operating in.
- Prepare instruction movies to construct and install a met mast
- Select, purchase and ship two wind meters to Mali
- Select two suitable sites for measurement in Mali
- Remotely teach EOL Mali group to make and install suitable met masts of 12 m
- Remotely teach EOL Mali group to operate wind meter and start recording,
- Acquire wind data for at least one year to capture all seasons and analyse the measurements
Once we have obtained this wind data, we are enabled make fact-driven decisions to navigate in the right direction. Parallel to this wind measurement campaign, a team of specialists are exploring the solution space if it turns out that the wind statistics are conflicting previous study and assumptions and are poorer than expected. Some solutions that are further worked on.
- Transport and sell Mali Made turbines to more rich wind resource places
- Customize wind turbine design to low wind regions (larger blades wrt generator)
- In case there is enough wind, continue original plan
- In case very disappointing and conflicting results with previous studies, alter wind construction project in Mali to another project where their taught skills can be celebrated and used beneficial for personal development.
We see this also as a good opportunity to teach the EOL Mali group how to make and install a met mast. This could be a good first step for learning how to make and install a more heavy wind turbine tower.
Planning and costs
The project runs for about 1,5 year and the total costs involved are 8.500 EUR. Detailed cost breakdown can be found here .