19 Apr 2022
19 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Spatio-temporal observations of nocturnal low-level jets and impacts on wind power production

Eduardo Weide Luiz1,2 and Stephanie Fiedler1,2 Eduardo Weide Luiz and Stephanie Fiedler
  • 1Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 2Hans-Ertel-Centre for Weather Research, Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics, Cologne/Bonn, Germany

Abstract. A challenge of an energy system, that nowadays more strongly depends on wind power generation, is the spatial and temporal variability of winds. Nocturnal low-level jets (NLLJ) are typical wind phenomena defined as a maximum in the vertical profile of the horizontal wind speed. A NLLJ has typical core heights of 50–500 m above ground level (a.g.l.), which is in the height range of most modern wind turbines. This study presents NLLJ analyses based on new observations from Doppler wind LiDARs. The aim is to characterize the temporal and spatial variability of NLLJs on the mesoscale and to quantify their impacts on wind power generation. The data was collected during the Field Experiment on Submesoscale Spatio-Temporal Variability (FESSTVaL) campaign from June to August 2020 in Lindenberg and Falkenberg (Germany), located at about 6 km from each other. Both sites have seen NLLJs in about 70 % of the nights with half of them lasting for more than 3 hours. Events longer than 6 hours occurred more often simultaneously at both sites than shorter events, indicating the mesoscale character of very long NLLJs. Very short NLLJs of less than one hour occurred more often in Lindenberg than Falkenberg, indicating more local influences on the wind profile. We discussed different meteorological mechanisms for NLLJ formation and linked NLLJ occurrences to synoptic weather patterns. There were positive and negative impacts of NLLJs on wind power that we quantified based on the observational data. While NLLJs increased the mean power production by up to 80 %, the stronger shear in the rotor layer during NLLJs had also negative impacts. The impacts of NLLJs on wind power production depended on the relative height between the wind turbine and the core of the NLLJ. For instance, the mean increase of the estimated power production during NLLJ events was about 30 % higher for a turbine at 135 m a.g.l. compared to one at 94 m a.g.l.. Our results imply that long NLLJs have an overall stronger impact on the total power production, while short events are primarily relevant as driver for power ramps.

Eduardo Weide Luiz and Stephanie Fiedler

Status: open (until 31 May 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2022-26', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 May 2022 reply

Eduardo Weide Luiz and Stephanie Fiedler

Eduardo Weide Luiz and Stephanie Fiedler


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Short summary
This work analyses a meteorological event, called Nocturnal low-level jets (NLLJ), defined as high wind speeds relatively close to the surface. There were positive and negative impacts from NLLJs. While NLLJs increased the mean power production, they also increased the variability of the wind with height. Our results imply that long NLLJs events are also larger, affecting many wind turbines at the same time. Short NLLJ events are more local, having stronger effects on power variability.