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Wind-powered electrical systems : highway rest areas, weigh stations, and team section buildings.
  • Published Date:
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Filetype[PDF-745.50 KB]

  • Publication/ Report Number:
    FHWA-ICT-09-034 ; ICT-09-034, UILU-ENG-2009-2005 ;
  • Resource Type:
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  • ISSN:
  • Edition:
    Final report
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  • Abstract:
    This project considered the use of wind for providing electrical power at Illinois Department of Transportation

    (IDOT) highway rest areas, weigh stations, and team section buildings. The goal of the project was to determine

    the extent to which wind power could offset electricity costs, provide a reasonable return on investment, offset

    energy use, and provide educational opportunities. The project gathered and analyzed the natural wind

    resources available at (or near) these facilities. These data were then used in conjunction with various wind

    turbines that are currently commercially available. The result of this analysis is an approximation to the windbased

    electrical energy potential of a given wind turbine at a given site. Thereafter, the monetary value of this

    electrical energy was computed and put in context of the cost of the wind turbine and associated overhead. In

    order to assess economic feasibility, the levelized cost of energy was then compared to current electricity rates

    for Illinois. This analysis showed that indeed there are some combinations of location and wind turbines that

    may produce electricity at a competitive rate. One of the most important factors in this analysis is the cost of

    wind turbines, which is generally unknown (but can be approximated) and depends on many factors. To

    account for this variability, the authors of this report have provided a spreadsheet containing all the data

    necessary to rapidly calculate the levelized cost of energy. The user of the spreadsheet need only enter some

    simple information, such as cost of the turbine and interest rates. The spreadsheet should enable procurement

    agents to rigorously compare the prices and returns for given locations and turbine manufacturers.

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