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Title: Final Report for Project: Impacts of stratification and non-equilibrium winds and waves on hub-height winds

This project used a combination of turbulence-resolving large-eddy simulations, single-column modeling (where turbulence is parameterized), and currently available observations to improve, assess, and develop a parameterization of the impact of non-equilibrium wave states and stratification on the buoy-observed winds to establish reliable wind data at the turbine hub-height level. Analysis of turbulence-resolving simulations and observations illuminates the non-linear coupling between the atmosphere and the undulating sea surface. This analysis guides modification of existing boundary layer parameterizations to include wave influences for upward extrapolation of surface-based observations through the turbine layer. Our surface roughness modifications account for the interaction between stratification and the effects of swell’s amplitude and wavelength as well as swell’s relative motion with respect to the mean wind direction. The single-column version of the open source Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) model (Skamarock et al., 2008) serves as our platform to test our proposed planetary boundary layer parameterization modifications that account for wave effects on marine atmospheric boundary layer flows. WRF has been widely adopted for wind resource analysis and forecasting. The single column version is particularly suitable to development, analysis, and testing of new boundary layer parameterizations. We utilize WRF’s single-column version to verify and validate ourmore » proposed modifications to the Mellor-Yamada-Nakanishi-Niino (MYNN) boundary layer parameterization (Nakanishi and Niino, 2004). We explore the implications of our modifications for two-way coupling between WRF and wave models (e.g.,Wavewatch III). The newly implemented parameterization accounting for marine atmospheric boundary layer-wave coupling is then tested in three-dimensional WRF simulations at grid sizes near 1 km. These simulations identify the behavior of simulated winds at the wind plant scale. Overall project conclusions include; In the presence of fast-moving swell (significant wave height Hs = 6.4 m, and phase speed cp = 18 ms-1), the atmospheric boundary layer grows more rapidly when waves propagate opposite to the winds compared to when winds and waves are aligned. Pressure drag increases by nearly a factor of 2 relative to the turbulent stress for the extreme case where waves propagate at 180° compared to the pressure gradient forcing. Net wind speed reduces by nearly 15% at hub-height for the 180°-case compared to the 0°-case, and turbulence intensities increase by nearly a factor of 2. These impacts diminish with decreasing wave age; Stratification increases hub height wind speeds and increases the vertical shear of the mean wind across the rotor plane. Fortuitously, this stability-induced enhanced shear does not influence turbulence intensity at hub height, but does increase (decrease) turbulence intensity below (above) hub height. Increased stability also increases the wave-induced pressure stress by ~ 10%; Off the East Coast of the United States during Coupled Boundary Layers Air-Sea Transfer - Low Wind (CBLAST-Low), cases with short fetch include thin stable boundary layers with depths of only a few tens of meters. In the coastal zone, the relationship between the mean wind and the surface fiction velocity (u*(V )) is significantly related to wind direction for weak winds but is not systematically related to the air sea difference of virtual potential temperature, δθv; since waves generally propagate from the south at the Air-Sea Interaction Tower (ASIT) tower, these results suggest that under weak wind conditions waves likely influence surface stress more than stratification does; and Winds and waves are frequently misaligned in the coastal zone. Stability conditions persist for long duration. Over a four year period, the Forschungsplattformen in Nord- und Ostsee Nr. 1 (FINO1) tower (a site with long fetch) primarily experienced weakly-unstable conditions, while stability at the ASIT tower (with a larger influence of offshore winds) experiences a mix of both unstable and stable conditions, where the summer months are predominantly stable. Wind-wave misalignment likely explains the large scatter in observed non-dimensional surface roughness under swell-dominated conditions. Andreas et al.’s (2012) relationship between u* and the 10-m wind speed under predicts the increased u* produced by wave-induced pressure drag produced by misaligned winds and waves. Incorporating wave-state (speed and direction) influences in parameterizations improves predictive skill. In a broad sense, these results suggest that one needs information on winds, temperature, and wave state to upscale buoy measurements to hub-height and across the rotor plane. Our parameterization of wave-state influences on surface drag has been submitted for inclusion in the next publicly available release. In combination, our project elucidates the impacts of two important physical processes (non-equilibrium wind/waves and stratification) on the atmosphere within which offshore turbines operate. This knowledge should help guide and inform manufacturers making critical decisions surrounding design criteria of future turbines to be deployed in the coastal zone. Reductions in annually averaged hub height wind speed error using our new wave-state-aware surface layer parameterization are relatively modest. However since wind turbine power production depends on the wind speed cubed, the error in estimated power production is close to 5%; which is significant and can substantially impact wind resource assessment and decision making with regards to the viability of particular location for a wind plant location. For a single 30-hour forecast, significant reductions in wind speed prediction errors can yield substantially improved wind power forecast skill, thereby mitigating costs and/or increasing revenue through improved; forecasting for maintenance operations and planning; day-ahead forecasting for power trading and resource allocation; and short-term forecasting for dispatch and grid balancing.« less
  1. Univ. Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
NCAR 2011-285
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States