Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2021-57
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2021-57

  22 Jun 2021

22 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Quantifying wind plant blockage under stable atmospheric conditions

Miguel Sanchez Gomez1, Julie K. Lundquist1,2, Jeffrey D. Mirocha3, Robert S. Arthur3, and Domingo Muñoz-Esparza4 Miguel Sanchez Gomez et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, 80309-0311, United States
  • 2National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, 80401, United States
  • 3Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550, United States
  • 4National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado 80301, United States

Abstract. Wind plant blockage reduces the wind velocity upstream undermining turbine performance for the first row of the plant. We assess how atmospheric stability modifies the induction zone of a wind plant in flat terrain. We also explore different approaches to quantifying the magnitude and extent of the induction zone from field-like observations. To investigate the influence from atmospheric stability, we compare simulations of two stable boundary layers using the Weather Research and Forecasting model in large-eddy simulation mode, representing wind turbines using the generalized actuator disk approach. We find a faster cooling rate at the surface, which produces a stronger stably stratified boundary layer, amplifies the induction zone of both an isolated turbine and of a large wind plant. A statistical analysis on the hub-height wind speed field shows wind slowdowns only extend far upstream (up to 15D) of a wind plant in strong stable boundary layers. To evaluate different ways of measuring wind plant blockage from field-like observations, we consider various ways of estimating the freestream velocity upstream of the plant. Sampling a large area upstream is the most accurate approach to estimating the freestream conditions, and thus of measuring the blockage effect. Also, the choice of sampling method may induce errors of the same order as the velocity deficit in the induction zone.

Miguel Sanchez Gomez et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2021-57', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2021-57', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Aug 2021

Miguel Sanchez Gomez et al.

Miguel Sanchez Gomez et al.

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Short summary
Winds decelerate upstream of a wind plant as turbines obstruct and extract energy from the flow. This effect is known as wind plant blockage. We assess how atmospheric stability modifies the upstream wind plant blockage. We find stronger stability amplifies this effect. We also explore different approaches to quantifying blockage from field-like observations. We find different methodologies may induce errors of the same order of magnitude as the blockage-induced velocity deficits.