Wind energy availability above gaps in a forest

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    There is a lack of data on availability of wind energy above a forest disturbed by clear-cuts, where a wind energy developer may find an opportunity to install a wind farm. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models can provide spatial patterns of wind and turbulence, and help to develop optimal installation strategies. The canopy-planetary boundary-layer model SCADIS is used to investigate the effect of forest gap size (within the diameter range of 3 - 75 tree heights, h) on wind energy related variables. A wind turbine was assumed with following features: the hub height and rotor diameter of 3.5h and 3h, respectively; this provides the clearance between the rotor and ground of 2h which is similar to the value obtained by the rule of thumb. Spatial variations of wind energy production, the average wind speed shear and cumulative TKE inside the layer of 2h - 5h above the ground around the gaps were estimated from modelled data. The results show that the effect of the forest gaps with diameters smaller than 55h on wind energy captured by the assumed wind turbine and located in the centre of round low-roughness gap is practically insignificant. The high level of spatial variation of considered characteristics within the clear-cut indicates that a joint influence of wind turbine properties and turbine's location within the gap can result in both win and loss of the wind energy capture. Therefore, for any particular land-use situation and wind turbine properties this combined effect should be considered carefully before a placement of turbine.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEWEC 2009 Proceedings
    Publication date2009
    ISBN (Print)9781615677467
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    Event2009 European Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition - Marseille, France
    Duration: 16 Mar 200919 Mar 2009


    Conference2009 European Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition
    Internet address


    • Wind energy
    • Meteorology

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