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Wind speed data

Before installing a new turbine it is essential to have good knowledge of the wind speed at the site. The UK has two wind speed desktop databases available online which you can use to assess this; the DECC NOABL database which will provide some indication of average mean wind speed (AMWS) and the Carbon Trust tool.

Good wind speed for our wind turbines is considered anything above an annual mean wind of 5m/s but please note this will vary between different designs of wind turbines.

NOABL wind speed database

The NOABL (Numerical Objective Analysis of Boundary Layer) wind speed database contains estimates of the annual mean wind speed throughout the UK. However, it must be understood that these will only be indicative values as wind is not completely predictable varying from year to year and is also dependant on the local environment. The estimated and actual annual energy production (AEP) can vary significantly with the system delivering either more or less electricity than expected. It is also worth noting the following:

  • The data is the result of an air flow model that estimates the effect of topography on wind speed.
  • There is no allowance for the effect of local thermally driven winds such as sea breezes or mountain/valley breezes.
  • The model was applied with 1km square resolution and takes no account of topography on a small scale or local surface roughness (such as tall crops, stone walls, or trees), both of which may have a considerable effect on the wind speed.
  • Each value stored in the database is the estimated average for a 1km square at 10m, 25m or 45m above ground level.
  • The database uses the Ordnance Survey grid system for Great Britain and the Northern Irish Ordnance Survey grid system for Northern Ireland.
  • The NOABL wind speed database works using a six character Ordnance Survey grid reference. If you do not know this, then find your grid reference using the www.streetmap.co.uk conversion tool by entering your postcode. The reference is comprised of three elements; two letters, and then two sets of three numbers e.g. TL 425 511. The NOABL database uses a six digit grid reference, so to convert omit the third digit from each of the two numbers, this would make the example: TL 42 51

To use the wind speed database, click here select a region and type in the six character grid reference obtained above (without spaces) and then click the ‘Find Wind Data’ button. This will return the wind speeds for the location you specified.

If you are in a good wind site and want to purchase a wind turbine contact us for further information.


Carbon Trust estimation tool

The Carbon Trust wind yield estimation tool incorporates land use information to help model wind behaviour, particularly for urban areas. The tool has been created using 30 years of data from the Met Office’s 220 weather stations.

By entering a postcode, details about the surrounding landscape and the type of turbine, you can calculate the AMWS as well as the likely energy generation and carbon savings. The tool is available on the Carbon Trust website but does require registration and technical data such as the rotor height and power curve of the proposed wind turbine to be known. If you need assistance with this, we can undertake this calculation for you free of charge.

Click for the Carbon Trust website.

Contact us for help with the calculation.

UK wind energy

The UK has the largest wind resource of any country in Europe, making it the ideal choice for a renewable source of energy.

UK wind distribution

A traditional horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) has to rotate to track wind.

Traditional HAWT design

A vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) collects wind from all directions without tracking.

New VAWT design

This type of wind turbine is ideally suited to the built environment with their small footprint and quiet operation.