28 Sep 2016
 | 28 Sep 2016
Status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Wind Energy Science (WES). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

FLOWSTAR-Energy: a high resolution wind farm wake model

Amy Stidworthy and David Carruthers

Abstract. A new model, FLOWSTAR-Energy, has been developed for the practical calculation of wind farm energy production. It includes a semi-analytic model for airflow over complex surfaces (FLOWSTAR) and a wind turbine wake model that simulates wake-wake interaction by exploiting some similarities between the decay of a wind turbine wake and the dispersion of plume of passive gas emitted from an elevated source. Additional turbulence due to the wind shear at the wake edge is included and the assumption is made that wind turbines are only affected by wakes from upstream wind turbines. The model takes account of the structure of the atmospheric boundary layer, which means that the effect of atmospheric stability is included. A marine boundary layer scheme is also included to enable offshore as well as onshore sites to be modelled.

FLOWSTAR-Energy has been used to model three different wind farms and the predicted energy output compared with measured data. Maps of wind speed and turbulence have also been calculated for two of the wind farms. The Tjaæreborg wind farm is an onshore site consisting of a single 2 MW wind turbine, the NoordZee offshore wind farm consists of 36 V90 VESTAS 3 MW turbines and the Nysted offshore wind farm consists of 72 Bonus 2.3 MW turbines. The NoordZee and Nysted measurement datasets include stability distribution data, which was included in the modelling. Of the two offshore wind farm datasets, the Noordzee dataset focuses on a single 5-degree wind direction sector and therefore only represents a limited number of measurements (1,284); whereas the Nysted dataset captures data for seven 5-degree wind direction sectors and represents a larger number of measurements (84,363). The best agreement between modelled and measured data was obtained with the Nysted dataset, with high correlation (0.98 or above) and low normalised mean square error (0.007 or below) for all three flow cases. The results from Tjæreborg show that the model replicates the Gaussian shape of the wake deficit two turbine diameters downstream of the turbine, but the lack of stability information in this dataset makes it difficult to draw conclusions about model performance.

One of the key strengths of FLOWSTAR-Energy is its ability to model the effects of complex terrain on the airflow. However, although the airflow model has been previously compared extensively with flow data, it has so far not been used in detail to predict energy yields from wind farms in complex terrain. This will be the subject of a further validation study for FLOWSTAR-Energy.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Amy Stidworthy and David Carruthers
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Amy Stidworthy and David Carruthers
Amy Stidworthy and David Carruthers


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Short summary
FLOWSTAR-Energy is a new practical model for predicting wind energy production from both onshore and offshore wind farms, allowing for the effects of topography, atmospheric stability and turbine wakes on the airflow. It includes an innovative model of wake interaction which exploits similarities in the behaviour of a wake and a plume of passive gas. Comparisons between model predictions and measurements from three sites show good agreement especially where stability effects are accounted for.