Applications of satellite winds for the offshore wind farm site Anholt

Tobias Torben Ahsbahs*, Merete Badger, Patrick Volker, Kurt Schaldemose Hansen, Charlotte Bay Hasager

*Corresponding author for this work

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Rapid growth in the offshore wind energy sector means more offshore wind farms are placed closer to each other and in the lee of large land masses. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) offers maps of the wind speed offshore with high resolution over large areas. These can be used to detect horizontal wind speed gradients close to shore and wind farm wake effects. SAR observations have become much more available with the free and open-access data from European satellite missions through Copernicus. Examples of applications and tools for using large archives of SAR wind maps to aid offshore site assessment are few. The Anholt wind farm operated by the utility company Ørsted is located in coastal waters and experiences strong spatial variations in the mean wind speed. Wind speeds derived from the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system are available at the turbine locations for comparison with winds retrieved from SAR. The correlation is good, both for free-stream and waked conditions. Spatial wind speed variations along the rows of wind turbines derived from SAR wind maps prior to the wind farm construction agree well with information gathered by the SCADA system and a numerical weather prediction model. Wind farm wakes are detected by comparisons between images before and after the wind farm construction. SAR wind maps clearly show wakes for long and constant fetches but the wake effect is less pronounced for short and varying fetches. Our results suggest that SAR wind maps can support offshore wind energy site assessment by introducing observations in the early phases of wind farm projects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)573-588
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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