New High Rez Wind Power Resource Map Covers the Entire Planet

3TIER wind speed map image
Map courtesy of 3TIER, which wants you to know that "this image may be used or displayed in whole or in part, and in any format, provided that each use or display includes the 3TIER logo and copyright notice"

3TIER, the same people who about two months ago released a really cool interactive map detailing the solar power potential of the entire Western Hemisphere, have just announced a new 5 kilometer resolution map of the entire planet for wind power resources. Check it out:Intended for Developers, but Useful for Consumers
Really intended for wind power developers and not the average consumer, nonetheless my inner tinkerer thinks this is pretty hot. You can specify wind turbine hub height, enter in a location or drag a now-familiar Google map image around, and get color coded results for wind speed in meters per second or miles per hour. You can play around with North America right now, with complete global coverage available in the first part of 2009.

3TIER touts the benefits of their map:

Unlike traditional models that merely interpolate observed wind speeds between widely dispersed points, 3TIER’s system integrates statistical methods with the power of physical-based models, which simulate the interaction between the atmosphere and the earth’s surface, to create a more robust and accurate wind climatology. That means the myriad processes responsible for wind – from jet level dynamics to surface level processes and everything in between – are accounted for in these models. They are able to create realistic wind fields throughout the world, with the results especially enlightening in regions where observations are not available.
3TIER ran its model through a 10-year simulation across the world’s landmass at a 5 km resolution. The results then were calibrated and validated with observational data to create the final dataset and, ultimately, the world wind map.

UPDATE: As a commenter pointed out, it appears that the really detailed stuff is quite available for the entire planet, only the US, Canada and Mexico. Try to zoom in for a closer look in the UK, Africa, India or South America (the places I tried) and you get a message saying that "FirstLook wind products are not yet available for this location". (3TIER clarified when the map would be available, correction made in text)

More: 3TIER
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Tags: Energy | Renewable Energy | Wind Power


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