Can Mesoscale Models Capture the Effect from Cluster Wakes Offshore? Article No. 062013

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long wakes from offshore wind turbine clusters can extend tens of kilometers downstream, affecting the wind resource of a large area. Given the ability of mesoscale numerical weather prediction models to capture important atmospheric phenomena and mechanisms relevant to wake evolution, they are often used to simulate wakes behind large wind turbine clusters and their impact over a wider region. Yet, uncertainty persists regarding the accuracy of representing cluster wakes via mesoscale models and their wind turbine parameterizations. Here, we evaluate the accuracy of the Fitch wind farm parameterization in the Weather Research and Forecasting model in capturing cluster-wake effects using two different options to represent turbulent mixing in the planetary boundary layer. To this end, we compare operational data from an offshore wind farm in the North Sea that is fully or partially waked by an upstream array against high-resolution mesoscale simulations. In general, we find that mesoscale models accurately represent the effect of cluster wakes on front-row turbines of a downstream wind farm. However, the same models may not accurately capture cluster-wake effects on an entire downstream wind farm, due to misrepresenting internal-wake effects.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-89043


  • cluster wakes
  • numerical weather prediction
  • offshore wind energy
  • wind farm parametrisations


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