U.S. East Coast Lidar Measurements Show Offshore Wind Turbines Will Encounter Very Low Atmospheric Turbulence

Julie Lundquist, Nicola Bodini, Anthony Kirincich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus Citations

Abstract

The rapid growth of offshore wind energy requires accurate modeling of the wind resource, which can be depleted by wind farm wakes. Turbulence dissipation rate (ϵ) governs the accuracy of model predictions of hub-height wind speed and the development and erosion of wakes. Here we assess the variability of turbulence kinetic energy and ϵ using 13 months of observations from a profiling lidar deployed on a platform off the Massachusetts coast. Offshore, ϵ is 2 orders of magnitude smaller than onshore, with a subtle diurnal cycle. Wind direction influences the annual cycle of turbulence, with larger values in winter when the wind flows from the land, and smaller values in summer, when the wind flows from open ocean. Because of the weak turbulence, wind plant wakes will be stronger and persist farther downwind in summer.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5582-5591
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume46
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©2019. The Authors.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-73599

Keywords

  • lidar
  • offshore wind energy
  • turbulence
  • wakes

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