An Original Approach Combining CFD, Linearized Models, and Deformation of Trees for Urban Wind Power Assessment
Wind energy is relevant to self-sufficiency in urban areas, but the accuracy of wind assessment is a barrier to allowing wind energy development. The aim of this work is to test the performance of the Griggs-Putnam Index of Deformity of trees (G-PID) over urban areas as an alternative method for assessing wind conditions. G-PID has been widely used in open terrains, but this work is the first attempt to apply it in urban areas. The results were compared with CFD simulations (ENVI-met), and finally, with the linear model WAsP to inspect if deformed trees can offer acceptable wind power assessments. WAsP (meso-) and ENVI-met (micrometeorological model) showed similar results in a test area inside the University of Lisbon Campus. All trees showed a deformation with the wind direction (S and SE). The mean G-PID wind speed for all trees was 5.9 m/s. Comparing this to the ENVI-met simulations results (mean speed for all trees was 4.25 m/s) made it necessary to adapt the index to urban terrains by reducing each Index Deformation class by about ~2 m/s. Nevertheless, more investigation is needed, since this study is just a first approach to this integrated methodology. Also, tree species and characteristics were not taken into account. These questions should be addressed in future studies, because the deformation of trees depends also on the tree species and phytosanitary conditions.