Montana State University

Wind Applications Center

Potential Power:

The theoretical amount of power the turbine can produce at a given instant can be calculated by using the ideal gas law and kinetic energy. Temperature and atmospheric pressure are taken from the weather station mounted on the tower in real time to find the density of the air. The density is then used along with the wind speed to calculate the potential power using the equations below.

equation for potential power


* Betz Limit- The turbine cannot use all the energy available in the wind due to Betz' Law. Only 59% of the energy in the wind can be removed by the laws of mass transfer. For a more detailed explanation click here.

Turbine (Actual) Power:

The Skystream turbine will produce slightly less power than the potential power due to losses in friction, heat, and vibration. The efficiency of the turbine can be calculated by using the equation below.

turbine power equation

Power Density Graph:

Power Density Graph

Graph Website