Multi-lidar wind resource mapping in complex terrain

Robert Menke*, Nikola Vasiljević, Johannes Wagner, Steven P. Oncley, Jakob Mann

*Corresponding author for this work

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Scanning Doppler lidars have great potential for reducing uncertainty of wind resource estimation in complex terrain. Due to their scanning capabilities, they can measure at multiple locations over large areas. We demonstrate this ability with dual-Doppler lidar measurements of flow over two parallel ridges. The data have been collected using two pairs of scanning lidars operated in a dual-Doppler mode during the Perdigão 2017 measurement campaign. There the scanning lidars mapped the flow 80m above ground level along two ridges, which are considered favorable for wind turbine siting. The measurements are validated with sonic wind measurements at each ridge. By analyzing the collected data, we found that wind speeds are on average 10% higher over the southwest ridge compared to the northeast ridge. At the southwest ridge, the data show, for approach flow normal to the ridge, a change of 20% in wind speed along the ridge. Fine differences like these are difficult to reproduce with computational flow models, as we demonstrate by comparing the lidar measurements with Weather Research and Forecasting large-eddy simulation (WRF-LES) results. For the measurement period, we have simulated the flow over the site using WRF-LES to compare how well the model can capture wind resources along the ridges. We used two model configurations. In the first configuration, surface drag is based purely on aerodynamic roughness, whereas in the second configuration forest canopy drag is also considered. We found that simulated winds are underestimated in WRF-LES runs with forest drag due to an unrealistic forest distribution on the ridge tops. The correlation of simulated and observed winds is, however, improved when the forest parameterization is applied. WRF-LES results without forest drag overestimated the wind resources over the southwest and northeast ridges by 6.5% and 4.5%, respectively. Overall, this study demonstrates the ability of scanning lidars to map wind resources in complex terrain.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1059-1073
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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