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Environmental and Performance Analysis of a 5kW Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine in East Central Alberta Open Access


Other title
renewable energy
power performance
life cycle assessment
wind turbine
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Rooke, Braden
Supervisor and department
Tyree, Melvin (Renewable Resources)
Fleck, Brian (Mechanical Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Secanell, Marc (Mechanical Engineering)
Musilek, Petr (Electrical Engineering)
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
This thesis investigates the environmental and performance results of a 5kW horizontal axis wind turbine installed in east-central Alberta. Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology was utilized to perform a comparative environmental impact study on three sizes of small wind turbines installed in east-central Alberta for the production of 100kW of nameplate power. Field data collected over 17 months from tower mounted instruments were used to assess the performance of a grid connected 5kW wind turbine. Comparative LCA findings revealed that although 5kW and 20kW options were a vast improvement over current Alberta grid performance, a 100kW turbine had the fastest environmental, energy, and financial payback period and the lowest impact per kilowatt-hour in terms of global warming, ozone depletion, and acidification emission factors. In-situ power performance analysis demonstrated that the turbine performs at a high-level and the manufacturer’s published power curve was accurate. Annual energy production (AEP) estimates made from the measured power curve were slightly low compared to manufacturer’s published data. Tower-mounted instruments were found to be an excellent option for in-situ power performance analysis.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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