Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Power and Wind Shear Implications of Large Wind Turbine Scenarios in the US Central Plains

TitlePower and Wind Shear Implications of Large Wind Turbine Scenarios in the US Central Plains
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
JournalEnergies
Volume13
Number16
Pages4269
Abstract / Summary

Continued growth of wind turbine physical dimensions is examined in terms of the implications for wind speed, power and shear across the rotor plane. High-resolution simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting model are used to generate statistics of wind speed profiles for scenarios of current and future wind turbines. The nine-month simulations, focused on the eastern Central Plains, show that the power scales broadly as expected with the increase in rotor diameter (D) and wind speeds at hub-height (H). Increasing wind turbine dimensions from current values (approximately H = 100 m, D = 100 m) to those of the new International Energy Agency reference wind turbine (H = 150 m, D = 240 m), the power across the rotor plane increases 7.1 times. The mean domain-wide wind shear exponent (α) decreases from 0.21 (H = 100 m, D = 100 m) to 0.19 for the largest wind turbine scenario considered (H = 168 m, D = 248 m) and the frequency of extreme positive shear (α > 0.2) declines from 48% to 38% of 10-min periods. Thus, deployment of larger wind turbines potentially yields considerable net benefits for both the wind resource and reductions in fatigue loading related to vertical shear.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3390/en13164269
DOI10.3390/en13164269
Journal: Energies
Year of Publication: 2020
Volume: 13
Number: 16
Pages: 4269
Publication Date: 08/2020

Continued growth of wind turbine physical dimensions is examined in terms of the implications for wind speed, power and shear across the rotor plane. High-resolution simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting model are used to generate statistics of wind speed profiles for scenarios of current and future wind turbines. The nine-month simulations, focused on the eastern Central Plains, show that the power scales broadly as expected with the increase in rotor diameter (D) and wind speeds at hub-height (H). Increasing wind turbine dimensions from current values (approximately H = 100 m, D = 100 m) to those of the new International Energy Agency reference wind turbine (H = 150 m, D = 240 m), the power across the rotor plane increases 7.1 times. The mean domain-wide wind shear exponent (α) decreases from 0.21 (H = 100 m, D = 100 m) to 0.19 for the largest wind turbine scenario considered (H = 168 m, D = 248 m) and the frequency of extreme positive shear (α > 0.2) declines from 48% to 38% of 10-min periods. Thus, deployment of larger wind turbines potentially yields considerable net benefits for both the wind resource and reductions in fatigue loading related to vertical shear.

DOI: 10.3390/en13164269
Citation:
Barthelmie, R, T Shepherd, J Aird, and S Pryor.  2020.  "Power and Wind Shear Implications of Large Wind Turbine Scenarios in the US Central Plains."  Energies 13(16): 4269.  https://doi.org/10.3390/en13164269.