Evaluation of Different Wind Fields for the Investigation of the Dynamic Response of Offshore Wind Turbines

Astrid Nybø, Finn Gunnar Nielsen, Joachim Reuder, Matthew J. Churchfield, Marte Godvik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus Citations


As the size of offshore wind turbines increases, a realistic representation of the spatiotemporal distribution of the incident wind field becomes crucial for modeling the dynamic response of the turbine. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard for wind turbine design recommends two turbulence models for simulations of the incident wind field, the Mann spectral tensor model, and the Kaimal spectral and exponential coherence model. In particular, for floating wind turbines, these standard models are challenged by more sophisticated ones. The characteristics of the wind field depend on the stability conditions of the atmosphere, which neither of the standard turbulence models account for. The spatial and temporal distribution of the turbulence, represented by coherence, is not modeled consistently by the two standard models. In this study, the Mann spectral tensor model and the Kaimal spectral and exponential coherence model are compared with wind fields constructed from offshore measurements and obtained from large-eddy simulations. Cross sections and durations relevant for offshore wind turbine design are considered. Coherent structures from the different simulators are studied across various stability conditions and wind speeds through coherence and proper orthogonal decomposition mode plots. As expected, the standard models represent neutral stratification better than they do stable and unstable. Depending upon the method used for generating the wind field, significant differences in the spatial and temporal distribution of coherence are found. Consequently, the computed structural design loads on a wind turbine are expected to vary significantly depending upon the employed turbulence model. The knowledge gained in this study will be used in future studies to quantify the effect of various turbulence models on the dynamic response of large offshore wind turbines.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1810-1830
Number of pages21
JournalWind Energy
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Wind Energy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-76690


  • coherence
  • offshore wind turbines
  • proper orthogonal decomposition mode
  • turbulence models
  • wind fields


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