Meteorological Controls on Wind Turbine Wakes

Rebecca J. Barthelmie (Invited author), Kurt Schaldemose Hansen (Invited author), S.C. Pryor (Invited author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The primary control on the magnitude of the power losses induced by wind turbine wakes in large wind farms is the hub-height wind speed via its link to the turbine thrust coefficient. Hence, at low to moderate wind speeds (between cut-in and rated turbine wind speeds) when the thrust coefficient is high, wake losses are proportionally larger and decrease to be virtually undetectable at wind speeds above rated wind speeds. Wind direction is also critical. Not only does it determine the effective spacing between turbines but also the wind speed distribution is primarily determined by
synoptic forcing and typically has a predominant direction from which wind speeds tend to be higher (from southwest for much of the central United States and northern Europe). Two other interlinked variables, turbulence intensity (TI), and atmospheric stability also dictate wake losses. Quantifying, understanding, modeling, and predicting this complex and interdependent system is therefore critical to understanding and modeling wind farm power losses due to wakes, and to optimizing wind farm layout. This paper quantifies the impact of these variables on the power loss due to wakes using data
from the large offshore wind farms located at Horns Rev and Nysted in Denmark.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1010-1019
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Meteorology
  • Offshore
  • Turbulence
  • Wakes
  • Wind energy


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