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RenewableEnergyVol. 1, No. 5/6, pp.

855-857, 1991
Printed in Great Britain.

0960-1481/91 $3.00+.00
Pergamon Press plc

TECHNICAL NOTE
The potential of wind electricity generation in Bangladesh
M . SARKAR* a n d M . HUSSAIN
Department of Physics and Renewable Energy Research Centre, University of Dhaka,
Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh

(Received 17 April 1990; accepted 27 June 1990)
Abstract--The hourly wind speed data of the coastal station Chittagong have been collected for the years
1978-81. From the hourly average wind speed, the hourly and monthly energy outputs were computed for
three commercial machines (22 kW, 16 kW and 4 kW) having different cut-in wind speed. The 22 kW
machine was found to produce higher energy output per m: than the other two for our energy regime. The
hourly and monthly energy variation of the 22 kW machine was studied and the cost per kWh of energy
produced by this machine was obtained. Considering the wind speed distribution of Bangladesh, it appears
that a wind machine in combination with a conventional diesel back up system will be economiclaly viable
for electricity generation in the off-shore islands but not in inland locations.

INTRODUCTION
Bangladesh is one of the highly energy deficient countries in
the world. The per capita commercial energy consumption
in Bangladesh in 1981 was 35 KgOE [1] which is pretty low
even compared to that of neighbouring India (158 KgOE)
and Pakistan (I 79 KgOE). By 1985, electricity consumption
grew to 41 KgOE in Bangladesh but the disparity increased
further. Electricity which is only 10% of the commercial
energy and 2% of the total energy consumed is being produced here in different ways : hydro-electricity and electricity
generated using natural gas are the main sources in the eastern zone and in the western region oil burning generators
are used. In some islands such as Kutubdia Sandwip etc.
electricity is produced using small diesel generators (I0-100
kW). For one such station, it has been found [2] that the fuel
cost per kWh of electricity supplied is Tk.8.92 in 1982 which
is much higher than the national average fuel cost of Tk.0.83
in the same year. In this work an attempt has been made to
study the possibility of harnassing wind energy for electricity
production in Bangladesh.
An earlier study on wind speed and wind energy availability in Bangladesh [3] showed that in the western region
almost all meteorological stations have an average annual
wind speed of around 4 km/h except the station Jessore and
Faridpur where the average speed recorded in 8 km/h. In the
eastern side, the average speed is a little bit higher with the
exception of (i) the inland station Dhaka Airport where the
speed is much above average and (ii) the coastal station
Chittagong where the highest average speed (I3 km/h) has
been recorded. It is reported [4] that the average speed of
Sagar Islands in India which is near to Bangladesh is 19
km/h. During a brief survey with a hand anemometer, a
coastal area of Bangladesh (Char Jabbar) again showed high
wind speeds. So far as we know, there is no hourly wind
speed data of off-shore island coasts. But our guess is that
the wind speed in those areas should be at least equal to that
of Chittagong and might approach that for Sagar Islands.
An annual average wind speed of 13 km/h which has been

recorded in Chittagong might be useful in generating electricity economically under Bangladesh conditions. In this
paper, taking the data of Chittagong to be representative of
coastal areas we would like to show how much energy one
can get from three different types of wind generators having
cut-in wind speeds of 2, 3.5 and 4.5 m/s. The cost of the
energy produced by the machine which gives the maximum
energy output was then calculated and compared with that
of the diesel generators.
DATA COLLECTION AND RESULTS
For the station Chittagong, the Meteorological Department of Bangladesh collects hourly wind speed data with the
help of a vertical-axis cup anemometer. The data for the
period 1978-80 were collected manually from the log-book.
These were then averaged over three years to get the hourly,
monthly and annual speeds. Suposing that the wind machine
has a tower height of 60 ft the wind speed corresponding to
this height was computed from measurements made at a
lower height of 10 m using the formula

* Present address : IRST, 38050 Povo, Trento, Italy.
855

v, - \ h , /

The value of ct was taken from the literature [5]. Mani and
Mooley [4] made a systemic study of ct over different parts
of India. From that work, one can guess that for Chittagong,
the average value of ~ might be 0.3. In that case the overall
energy output will be 20% higher. We have chosen to make
a rather conservative estimate of the energy output with
lower ~t and possibly a lower wind speed.
The characteristics of three machines (22 kW, 16 kW,
1 kW) as found from the literature [6--8] are shown in Table 1.
Taking the average output energy for wind speeds in between
the cut-in and rated values to be linear, a straight line fit was
drawn. Corresponding to each hourly average speed for a
month the energy output for that particular hour was determined from that fit. All the hourly energy outputs were added
up to get the daily output which is again multiplied by the
total number of days of a month to get the monthly energy

10) = $4560. The points that emerge out of this study are: (1) wind generators in combination with diesel systems should be suitable for off-shore islands. say a conventional diesel generator which should be used only for the lean period. Late at night. it is found that the energy output per unit blade area (kWh/m 2) is highest for the 22 kW machine. Using all these values in the above equation .. Wind speeds in some of the places in this zone. From a cost analysis (shown in the appendix). it is clear that the cost per k w h energy produced by the above 22 kW machine (Tk.7 Blade diameter No.8. So a stand alone wind machine cannot be used as a power generating unit.S / ~ r J For the 22 kW machine.68) is much less than that o f a small diesel burning system. the price [6] is taken to be US$38000 and the cost of civil work (20% of the price) = $7600. So a wind machine has no importance in those areas. If it is assumed that 40% of the energy produced over the year is available for utilization. in some of those areas.15 and i = 0.m. cottage industries which run during the day time could be very profitably powered by a wind generator as energy storage requirement would be minimum and investment on batteries would not be high.0 6.0 12. (2) the interest rate (r) and inflation rate (0 were taken to be 15% and 12% respectively.0 4. DISCUSSION From Table 2. the energy output is practically zero.5 2. Blade material Rated power (kW) Rated wind speed (m/s) Fibre glass Fibre glass Wood 22 16 4 8. Wind generators with a diesel back up system will be most suitable for the off-shore islands.0 2 3 3 output. It is also evident that for the period from October to February and also for some hours in the months of March and September.000 240 volts -230 volts -- the energy produced by the wind generator remains cheaper than the fuel cost per kWh of energy supplied (Tk. hydro-electricity and natural gas burning systems are two sources of electricity. In the western zone o f Bangladesh where electricity is generated by burning oil.0 Output Price 220/380 volts $38. The present value o f costs (PVC) is [7] 1-1 +i-] [- [1+i'¥] ['l+i]' pvc =/+ CompLex_i] × i_1. C. But the cost per kWh energy produced by a wind mill will be more costly than the existing centrally generated electricity in the main land. Therefore investment I = $45600. a small wind generator may be setup in one of the islands at a suitable location to study with a good accuracy the energy production and its cost. the output is above 5 kW and peaks at around 3 p.l ~ r ) J .00 and S = $ (45600 x 0. Small.5 8. Storage batteries are costly and a wind machine with small storage batteries tends to become less costly. So one can say that normal grid line will not be benefited by feeding in power from machines.475. is small in developing countries and a large battery bank is not necessary. APPENDIX The cost per kWh of energy produced by the 22 kW machine has been calculated under the following assumptions [7] : (1) the life time of the machine (t) was assumed to be 20 years. o f local time. electricity is produced by diesel generators and normal grid lines cannot be extended to those places. At present. Wind power can also be used for water storage pumping or lighting in the earlier hours of night during the above months with similar advantage. it is found that for the months from April to August. Monthly energy output (kWh/m 2) for the wind machines Month 22 kW 16 kW 4 kW January February March April May June July August September October November December 19 23 25 60 60 93 108 99 23 4 0 3 8 11 18 40 42 55 62 56 21 6 3 5 5 7 7 18 15 29 36 29 5 0 0 0 Total 517 327 151 Cut in Furling speed speed (m/s) (m/s) 3.12. Table 2 shows such energy output per m 2 for different months of the year for the three machines. (2) normal grid lines will not be benefited by feeding in power from wind generators. (3) operation.5 24 -18.856 Technical Note Table 1. From the hourly energy values for the same machine (Fig.0 10. (3) meteorological stations should be established in seaside locations in the islands to record the hourly wind speed in order to obtain better information on the energy availability and (4) as a pilot project.mr= $(38000/20) X0. of (m) blades II. In the eastern side. It must be coupled with an auxiliary device. maintenance and repair cost (Corer) was considered to be 25% of the annual cost of the machine (machine price/life time). (4) scrap value S was taken to be 10% of the machine price and civil work and (5) investment (I) includes the machine price plus its 20% for the civil work and other connections. most of the time. I). Our off-shore islands are expected to have sufficiently good wind speeds to run a wind machine cost effectively.1. The characteristics of three machines found from the literature [6-8] Name Country Aeroman (22 kW) W 16 (16 kW) Enertech (4 kW) Holland Australia U. especially in the coastal belt are sufficient to run a windmill for few months of the year.S.25 = 5. even then Table 2.00 where r = 0. the wind speed is reported [3] to be low.29). power required for lighting.A.

1489. Mancini and A. B. Therefore.Technical Note 857 APRIL FEBRUARY JUNE 20- /2 I v I/ :) in I-20 : I "~ . Sarkar. A. PVC = $50151. So the total output in 20 years = (49132x20) kWh. Hussain. A. Allied Publications.20. Zaid.051 = Tk. Hourly energy output (kW/m 2) for the wind machine Aeroman (22 kW) over the different months of the year. Furlan.00). Thavapalachendran and P. 8. 6.4. S. . India (1983). I OCTOBER AUGUST I 1 DECEMBER . 1983 (unpublished). New Delhi. Non Conventional Energy Sources. M. Alam. S.33. Mani and D. Dhaka. Singapore (1985). Bangladesh. M. REFERENCES 1. 369 (1987). Bangkok. Published by the Renewable Energy Research Information Centre. Even if only 40% of the total output is available for consumption the cost per kWh power supplied would be Tk.. WindEnergy Data oflndia. Mukhia. M. M. Sayigh. B. A. S. the cost per kWh = $50151/49132 × 20 = $0. Energy Conversion and Management 26. H. A. Hamdan. 321 (1986). G. Habli. B. P. M. 7. K. Australia. N. A. A.00. p. 59 (1987). Dhaka University. Private communications. A. Reza and M. 1. 5._I < Io I-- 0-20 I0-20 20-20 I I 0-20 10-20 I 20-20 . Thailand. Box 716 Wodonga 3690.O. 4. S. 713. AIT Research Report No. R. Jurdan and Adnan O. World Scientific Publications. Wind Technology.~. 2. Exell. 3. Hussain. From Table 2 the annual output of 22 kW machine is 517 × [(D/2) 2] kWh = 49132 kWh where D is the diameter of the blade. A report from Centre for Policy Research.68 (1 US$ = Tk. Energy 12.. Solar Energy 38./ I I 0-20 10-20 I 20-20 TIME ( IN GMT) Fig. Hezeltine. Mooley.