06 Apr 2023
 | 06 Apr 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Mesoscale modelling of North Sea wind resources with COSMO-CLM: model evaluation and impact assessment of future wind farm characteristics on cluster-scale wake losses

Ruben Borgers, Marieke Dirksen, Ine L. Wijnant, Andrew Stepek, Ad Stoffelen, Naveed Akhtar, Jérôme Neirynck, Jonas Van de Walle, Johan Meyers, and Nicole P. M. van Lipzig

Abstract. As many coastal regions experience a rapid increase in offshore wind farm installations, inter-farm distances become smaller with a tendency to install larger turbines at high capacity densities. It is however not clear how the wake losses in wind farm clusters depend on the characteristics and spacing of the individual wind farms. Here, we quantify this based on multiple COSMO-CLM simulations, each of which assumes a different, spatially invariant combination of the turbine type and capacity density in a projected, future wind farm layout in the North Sea. An evaluation of the modelled wind climate with mast and lidar data for the period 2008–2020 indicates that the frequency distributions of wind speed and wind direction at turbine hub height are skillfully modelled and the seasonal and inter-annual variations in wind speed are represented well. The wind farm simulations indicate that at a capacity density of 8.1 MW km-2 and for SW-winds, inter-farm wakes can reduce the capacity factor at the inflow edge of wind farms from 59 % to between 55 % and 40 % depending on the proximity, size and number of the upwind farms. However, the long-term impact of wake losses in and between wind farms is mitigated by adopting next-generation, 15 MW wind turbines instead of 5 MW turbines, as the annual energy generation over all wind farms in the simulation is increased by 24 % at the same capacity density. In contrast, the impact of wake losses is exacerbated with increasing capacity density, as the layout-integrated, annual capacity factor varies between 54.4 % and 44.3 % over the considered range of 3.5 to 10 MW km-2. Overall, wind farm characteristics and inter-farm distances play an essential role in cluster-scale wake losses, which should be taken into account in future wind farm planning.

Ruben Borgers 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-2023-33', David Schultz, 15 Apr 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Ruben Borgers, 18 Jun 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2023-33', Andrea Hahmann, 23 May 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Ruben Borgers, 18 Jun 2023

Ruben Borgers et al.

Data sets

Python scripts and data to create figures 3-10 of the manuscript Ruben Borgers

Ruben Borgers et al.


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Short summary
Wind farms at sea are becoming more densely clustered, which means that, next to individual wind turbines interfering with each other in a single power plant, also interference between wind farms becomes important. Using a climate model, this study shows that the efficiency of wind farm clusters and the interference between the wind farms in the cluster depend strongly on the properties of the individual wind farms and is also highly sensitive to the spacing between the wind farms.