Niall McMahon

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Tools for SEAI Wind Mapping System


A couple of weeks back, I gave a talk at the Irish Energy Show about a Python-based toolset that we’ve been developing for the Irish wind map. The system’s nicknamed WindRosie, after its first function, to draw wind roses based on the wind map data.

(As a side note, I’ve some thoughts about how to site a wind turbine – with rough numbers for payback etc. here –.)

The ArcGIS-based Irish wind map provides average wind speeds at eight different heights above ground, from 20 m up to 150 m, every 100 m along and across the country. Values are interpolated between grid points.


In addition, a typical annual time series is available at every point, i.e. wind speeds and directions every hour for a year.

The numbers were crunched by the UK Met. Office using records from meteorological stations and a supercomputer.

With a little Python coding, it’s possible to access the wind map database directly and draw wind roses for a particular point. With a little more work, edge-case estimates can be made for power production and annual output from a turbine placed at that location. The plan is to integrate this into the wind map proper in the future.

If you’d like to see the basic wind rose software and development, send me an email. We plan to post it openly online soon.

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