Evaluation of wind farm parameterizations in the WRF model under different atmospheric stability conditions with high-resolution wake simulations
Abstract. Wind farm parameterizations (WFPs) are used in mesoscale models for predicting wind farm power production and its impact on wind resources while considering the variability of the regional wind climate. However, the performance of WFPs is influenced by various factors including atmospheric stability. In this study, we compared two widely used WFPs in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to large-eddy simulations (LES) of turbine wakes performed with the same model. The Fitch scheme and the Explicit Wake Parameterization were evaluated for their ability to represent wind speed and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) in a two-turbine wind farm layout under neutral, unstable, and stable atmospheric stability conditions. To ensure a fair comparison, the inflow conditions were kept as close as possible between the LES and mesoscale simulations for each type of stability condition, and the LES results were spatially aggregated to align with the mesoscale grid spacing. Our findings indicate that the performance of WFPs varies depending on the specific variable (wind speed or TKE) and the area of interest downwind of the turbine when compared to the LES reference. The WFPs can accurately depict the vertical profiles of the wind speed deficit for either the grid cell containing the wind turbines or the grid cells in the far wake, but not both simultaneously. The WFPs with an explicit source of TKE overestimate TKE values at the first grid cell containing the wind turbine; however, for downwind grid cells, agreement improves. On the other hand, WFPs without a TKE source underestimate TKE in all downwind grid cells. These agreement patterns between the WFPs and the LES reference are consistent under the three atmospheric stability conditions. However, the WFPs resemble less the wind speed and TKE from the LES reference under stable conditions than under neutral or unstable conditions.
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