AN INVESTIGATION OF THE UTILITY SCALE WIND ENERGY FOR NORTH-EASTERN KENYA REGION
Keywords:Wind speed, power law, Weibull parameters, wind class, wind rose, energy potential
In the present study, the wind energy potential for Garissa (0o 28’S, 39o 38’E) and Marsabit (2o 19’N, 37o 58’E), both rural towns in north-eastern Kenya have been statistically analyzed on a 6-year measured hourly time series wind speed data. The probability distribution parameters are derived the time series data and the distributional parameters are identified and fitted annually on the basis of Weibull model. Garissa’s average wind speeds were found to range between 2.5 and 3.5 m/s giving power densities of between 74 and 190 W/m2 at a height of 50 m. The yearly value of Weibull’s shape parameter k ranged from 1.26 to 1.38, whilst the values of the scale parameter c ranged between 2.92 and 3.90 m/s. In the case of Marsabit average wind speeds greater than 11 m/s are prevalent. The available power density at a height of 50 m is between 1776 and 2202 W/m2 which is in the wind class range of 7 and 8. Values of Weibull parameters k and c ranged between 2.5-3.05 and 11.86-12.97 m/s, respectively. From the analysis, the Marsabit site was found suitable for grid connected power generation while the Garissa site was found suitable for non-grid uses such as water pumping and battery charging.