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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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We investigate the ability of a community-open weather model to simulate the turbulent atmosphere by comparison with measurements from a 250-m mast at a flat site in Denmark. We found that within three main atmospheric stability regimes, idealized simulations reproduce closely the characteristics of the observations with regards to the mean wind, direction, turbulent fluxes, and turbulence spectra. Our work provides foundation for the use of the weather model in multiscale real time simulations.
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2020-119
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2020-119

  08 Jan 2021

08 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Evaluation of idealized large-eddy simulations performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting model using turbulence measurements from a 250-m meteorological mast

Alfredo Peña1, Branko Kosović2, and Jeffrey D. Mirocha3 Alfredo Peña et al.
  • 1DTU Wind Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde, Denmark
  • 2National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, USA
  • 3Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, USA

Abstract. We investigate the ability of the Weather Research and Forecasting model to perform large-eddy simulation of canonical flows. This is achieved through comparison of the simulation outputs with measurements from sonic anemometers on a 250-m meteorological mast located at Østerild, in northern Denmark. Østerild is on a flat and rough area, and for the predominant wind directions, the atmospheric flow can be considered to be close to homogeneous. The idealized simulated flows aim at representing atmospheric boundary layer turbulence under unstable, neutral, and stable stability conditions at the surface, which are statistically significant conditions observed at Østerild. We found that the resolved fields from the simulations appear to have the characteristics of the three stability regimes. Vertical profiles of observed mean wind speeds and direction are well reproduced by the simulations with the largest differences under near-neutral conditions, where the effect of the subgrid-scale model is evident on the vertical wind shear close to the surface. Vertical profiles of observed eddy fluxes are also well reproduced by the simulations with the largest differences for the three velocity component variances under stable stability conditions, although nearly always within the observed variability. With regards to turbulent kinetic energy, we find good agreement between observations and simulations at all vertical levels. Simulated and observed velocity spectra match very well, and show very similar behavior with height and with atmospheric stability within the low frequency interval; at the effective resolution, the simulated spectra show the typical drop-off of finite differences. Our findings demonstrate that these idealized simulations reproduce the characteristics of atmospheric stability regimes often observed at a high turbulent and flat site within a direction sector, where the air flows over nearly homogeneous land.

Alfredo Peña et al.

Status: open (until 19 Feb 2021)

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Alfredo Peña et al.

Alfredo Peña et al.

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Short summary
We investigate the ability of a community-open weather model to simulate the turbulent atmosphere by comparison with measurements from a 250-m mast at a flat site in Denmark. We found that within three main atmospheric stability regimes, idealized simulations reproduce closely the characteristics of the observations with regards to the mean wind, direction, turbulent fluxes, and turbulence spectra. Our work provides foundation for the use of the weather model in multiscale real time simulations.
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