Probabilistic stability and "tall" wind profiles: theory and method for use in wind resource assessment

Mark C. Kelly, Ib Troen

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A model has been derived for calculating the aggregate effects of stability and the finite height of the planetary boundary layer upon the long-term mean wind profile. A practical implementation of this probabilistic extended similarity-theory model is made, including its incorporation within the European Wind Atlas (EWA) methodology for site-to-site application. Theoretical and practical implications of the EWA methodology are also derived and described, including unprecedented documentation of the theoretical framework encompassing vertical extrapolation, as well as some improvement to the methodology. Results of the modeling are shown for a number of sites, with discussion of the models’ efficacy and the relative improvement shown by the new model, for situations where a user lacks local heat flux information, as well as performance of the new model using measured flux statistics. Further, the uncertainty in vertical extrapolation is characterized for the EWA model contained in standard (i.e., WAsP) wind resource assessment, as well as for the new model. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)227–241
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Atmospheric stability
  • Monin–Obukhov similarity
  • Similarity theory
  • Wind profiles
  • Wind extrapolation
  • Resource assessment


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