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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2020-25
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2020-25
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 17 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Wind speed deviations in complex terrain

Christian Ingenhorst1,3, Georg Jacobs1, Laura Stößel2, Ralf Schelenz2, and Björn Juretzki3 Christian Ingenhorst et al.
  • 1Institute for Maschine Elements and Systems Engineering, Aachen, 52062, Germany
  • 2Centerfor Wind Power Drives, RWTH Aachen, Aachen, 52074, Germany
  • 3IME Aachen GmbH Institut für Maschinenelemente und Maschinengestaltung, Aachen, 52074, Germany

Abstract. Wind farm sites within complex terrain are subject to local wind phenomena, which have a huge impact on a wind turbine's annual energy production. To reduce investment risk, an extensive site evaluation is therefore mandatory. Stationary long-term measurements are supplemented by CFD simulations, which are a commonly used tool to analyse and understand the three-dimensional wind flows above complex terrain. Though being under heavy research, such simulations still show a huge sensitivity for various input parameters like terrain, atmosphere and numerical setup. Within this paper, a different approach aims to measure instead of simulate wind speed deviations above complex terrain by using a flexible, airborne measurement system. An unmanned aerial vehicle is equipped with a standard ultrasonic anemometer. The uncertainty of the system is evaluated against stationary anemometer at different heights and shows very good agreement, especially in mean wind speed (< 0.12 ms−1) and mean direction (< 2.4°) estimation. A test measurement was conducted above a forested and hilly site to analyse the spatial and temporal variability of the wind situation. A position dependent difference in wind speed increase up to 30 % compared to a stationary anemometer is detected.

Christian Ingenhorst et al.

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Christian Ingenhorst et al.

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Latest update: 01 Jun 2020
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Short summary
Wind farm sites within complex terrain are subject to local wind phenomena, which are difficult to quantify but have a huge impact on a wind turbine's annual energy production. Therefore, a wind sensor was applied on an unmanned aerial vehicle and validated against stationary wind sensors with good agreement. A measurement over complex terrain showed local deviations from mean wind speed of approx. ± 30 %, indicating the importance of an extensive site evaluation to reduce investment risk.
Wind farm sites within complex terrain are subject to local wind phenomena, which are difficult...
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