Comparison of Three methods for wind turbine capacity factor estimation

Y. Ditkovich, A. Kuperman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Three approaches to calculating capacity factor of fixed speed wind turbines are reviewed and compared using a case study. The first "quasiexact" approach utilizes discrete wind raw data (in the histogram form) and manufacturer-provided turbine power curve (also in discrete form) to numerically calculate the capacity factor. On the other hand, the second "analytic" approach employs a continuous probability distribution function, fitted to the wind data as well as continuous turbine power curve, resulting from double polynomial fitting of manufacturer-provided power curve data. The latter approach, while being an approximation, can be solved analytically thus providing a valuable insight into aspects, affecting the capacity factor. Moreover, several other merits of wind turbine performance may be derived based on the analytical approach. The third " approximate" approach, valid in case of Rayleigh winds only, employs a nonlinear approximation of the capacity factor versus average wind speed curve, only requiring rated power and rotor diameter of the turbine. It is shown that the results obtained by employing the three approaches are very close, enforcing the validity of the analytically derived approximations, which may be used for wind turbine performance evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number805238
JournalThe Scientific World Journal
StatePublished - 18 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


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