Offshore wind farm cluster wakes as observed by long-range-scanning wind lidar measurements and mesoscale modeling
As part of the ongoing X-Wakes research project, a 5-month wake-measurement campaign was conducted using a scanning lidar installed amongst a cluster of offshore wind farms in the German Bight. The main objectives of this study are (1) to demonstrate the performance of such a system and thus quantify cluster wake effects reliably and (2) to obtain experimental data to validate the cluster wake effect simulated by the flow models involved in the project. Due to the lack of free wind flow for the wake flow directions, wind speeds obtained from a mesoscale model (without any wind farm parameterization) for the same time period were used as a reference to estimate the wind speed deficit caused by the wind farm wakes under different wind directions and atmospheric stabilities. For wind farm waked wind directions, the lidar data show that the wind speed is reduced up to 30 % at a wind speed of about 10 m s−1, depending on atmospheric stability and distance to the wind farm. For illustrating the spatial extent of cluster wakes, an airborne dataset obtained during the scanning wind lidar campaign is used and compared with the mesoscale model with wind farm parameterization and the scanning lidar. A comparison with the results of the model with a wind farm parameterization and the scanning lidar data reveals a relatively good agreement in neutral and unstable conditions (within about 2 % for the wind speed), whereas in stable conditions the largest discrepancies between the model and measurements are found. The comparative multi-sensor and model approach proves to be an efficient way to analyze the complex flow situation in a modern offshore wind cluster, where phenomena at different length scales and timescales need to be addressed.