The Bolund Experiment, Part I: Flow Over a Steep, Three-Dimensional Hill

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    We present an analysis of data from a measurement campaign performed at the Bolund peninsula in Denmark in the winter of 2007–2008. Bolund is a small isolated hill exhibiting a significantly steep escarpment in the main wind direction. The physical shape of Bolund represents, in a scaled-down form, a typical wind turbine site in complex terrain. Because of its small size the effect of atmospheric stratification can be neglected, which makes the Bolund experiment ideal for the validation of neutral flow models and hence model scenarios most relevant to wind energy. We have carefully investigated the upstream conditions. With a 7-km fetch over water, the incoming flow is characterized as flow over flat terrain with a local roughness height based on the surface momentum flux. The nearly perfect upstream conditions are important in forming a meaningful quantitative description of the flow over the Bolund hill. Depending on the wind direction, we find a maximum speed-up of 30% at the hill top accompanied by a maximum 300% enhancement of turbulence intensity. A closer inspection reveals transient behaviour with recirculation zones. From the wind energy context, this implies that the best site for erecting a turbine based on resource constraints unfortunately also imposes a penalty of high dynamic loads. On the lee side of Bolund, recirculation occurs with the turbulence intensity remaining significantly enhanced even at one hill length downstream. Its transient behaviour and many recirculation zones place Bolund in a category in which the linear flow theory is not applicable.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)219-243
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Wind power meteorology


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