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Harnessing energy from oil has damaged the planet, triggering what is feared to be changes in global climate. On the other end, wind is abundant and in “commercial” quality over the land masses and seas of the Philippines.

Wind is air that moves around in reaction to differences in temperatures. The uneven heat expands and contracts the air. One could actually experience this phenomenon on islands where land and sea breezes often drive air to move from land to the sea and vice versa; this is especially true during mid-day and in the early morning after midnight.

In a large scale, this is called the monsoon system. Monsoon is an air stream that moves from continental lands to large open oceans – and vice versa. The phenomenon is driven by seasonal changes of temperature: cold air (in winter season) in one hemisphere of the earth contracts while the warm air (in summer season) on the other hemisphere expands.

The seasonal changes in both hemispheres provide unending sources of energy, driving the air to move from one hemisphere to the other in what is called the monsoon winds.

The Philippines is located in the Asian monsoon system; it can potentially harness the energy that abounds in the monsoon.

Out study identifies places with wind of commercial viability. In these places, state of the art technology can convert wind into electrical energy to bring electricity for domestic and business use.

To do this, appropriate technology must match available wind with known characteristics. Measurements have to be made to extract the needed information and better understand the economic promise of wind energy. The data gathered will guide investors and planners to formulate strategic development and excite the local economy.

Many years back, PAGASA published wind and solar maps, useful to locate places where winds are abundant. Data from PAGASA and other sources provide a good estimate of wind energy in the country.

These studies sought to determine how much wind energy could be harnessed to serve the needs of an ecotown community. The study is essential because no one would invest in wind energy without actual on-site measurements. Our study will provide the need for detailed information.

Typical measurements performed by most weather agencies are based on observations from a height of 10 meters in time frames of two or more observations a day. Our study provides data at an elevation height of 20 meters and 30 meters as they relate to small scale wind turbines to match an ecotown’s energy needs.

The frequency of wind measurement is within a 10-minute averaging period acceptable to most scientific investigation that estimate wind energy potential. This includes a record of extremes and its frequency withing the study period.

 

By: 
Dr. Henry J. Ramos
University of the Philippines Diliman

Published by:
Department of Science and Technology-Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII)

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