The analysis of recently collected wind data at five sites in Saudi Arabia namely, Dhulum, Arar, Yanbu, Gassim and Dhahran is presented. The five sites represent different geographically and climatologically conditions. The data collected over a period spanned between 1995 and 2002 with different collection periods for each site. Daily, monthly and frequency profiles of the wind speed at the sites showed that Dhulum and Arar sites have higher wind energy potential with annual wind speed average of 5.7 and 5.4 m/s and speeds higher than 5 m/s for 60 and 47% of the time, respectively. The two sites are candidates for remote area wind energy applications. The costal site's, i.e. Yanbu and Dhahran wind speed data indicated that the two sites have lower annual wind speed averages and wind blows at speed higher than 5 m/s during afternoon hours. That makes the two sites candidates for grid connected wind systems for electrical load peak shaving. The data of Gassim site showed that the site has the lowest wind energy potential compared to the others. The annual energy produced by a Nordex N43 wind machine is estimated to be 1080, 990, 730, 454 and 833 MWh for Dhulum, Arar, Yanbu, Gassim and Dhahran, respectively. The analysis showed that the estimated annual energy produced by the machine based on 10 min averaged data is 2.5% higher than the estimated energy based on 30 min averaged data. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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