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Publication Date
18 August 2020

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



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.
“Power And Wind Shear Implications Of Large Wind Turbine Scenarios In The Us Central Plains”. 2020. Energies 13: 4269. doi:10.3390/en13164269.
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