Wind energy applications of synthetic aperture radar

    Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

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    Abstract

    Synthetic aperture radars (SAR), mounted on satellites or aircraft, have proven useful for ocean wind mapping. Wind speeds at the height 10 m may be retrieved from measurements of radar backscatter using empirical model functions. The resulting wind fields are valuable in offshore wind energy planning as a supplement to on site measurements, which are costly and sparse, and model wind fields, which are not fully validated. Two applications of SAR measurements in offshore wind energy planning are addressed here: the study of wind farm wake effects and the potential of using SAR winds in offshore wind resource assessment. Firstly, wind wakes behind two large offshore wind farms in Denmark – Horns Rev and Nysted – are identified. A region of reduced wind speed is found downstream of both wind farms from the SAR wind fields. The wake extent and magnitude depends on the wind speed, the atmospheric stability, and the fraction of turbines operating. Wind farm wake effects are detected up to 20 km downwind of the last turbine. This distance is longer than predicted by state-of-the art wake models. Wake losses are typically 10-20% near the wind farms. Secondly, the potential of using SAR wind maps in offshore wind resource assessment is investigated. The resource assessment is made through Weibull fitting to frequency observations of wind speed and requires at least 100 satellite observations per year for a given site of interest. Predictions of the energy density are very sensitive to the wind speed and the highest possible accuracy on SAR wind retrievals is therefore sought. A 1.1 m s-1 deviation on the mean wind speed is found through comparison with mast measurements at Horns Rev. The accuracy on mean wind speeds and energy densities found from satellite measurements varies with different empirical model functions. Additional uncertainties are introduced by the infrequent satellite sampling at fixed times of the day. The accuracy on satellite based wind resource assessment is sufficient in the early stage of wind farm planning, before higher-accuracy on site measurements are available.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    PublisherRisø National Laboratory
    Number of pages53
    ISBN (Print)87-550-3532-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    SeriesRisø-PhD
    Number27(EN)

    Keywords

    • Risø-PhD-27(EN)
    • Risø-PhD-27

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