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Resources 2014, 3(1), 81-105; doi:10.3390/resources3010081

The Impacts of Atmospheric Stability on the Accuracy of Wind Speed Extrapolation Methods

School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Norman, OK 73072, USA
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Received: 3 December 2013 / Revised: 25 December 2013 / Accepted: 8 January 2014 / Published: 23 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Variation of the Wind Resource)
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Abstract

The building of utility-scale wind farms requires knowledge of the wind speed climatology at hub height (typically 80–100 m). As most wind speed measurements are taken at 10 m above ground level, efforts are being made to relate 10-m measurements to approximate hub-height wind speeds. One common extrapolation method is the power law, which uses a shear parameter to estimate the wind shear between a reference height and hub height. The shear parameter is dependent on atmospheric stability and should ideally be determined independently for different atmospheric stability regimes. In this paper, data from the Oklahoma Mesonet are used to classify atmospheric stability and to develop stability-dependent power law fits for a nearby tall tower. Shear exponents developed from one month of data are applied to data from different seasons to determine the robustness of the power law method. In addition, similarity theory-based methods are investigated as possible alternatives to the power law. Results indicate that the power law method performs better than similarity theory methods, particularly under stable conditions, and can easily be applied to wind speed data from different seasons. In addition, the importance of using co-located near-surface and hub-height wind speed measurements to develop extrapolation fits is highlighted.
Keywords: boundary-layer wind profile; similarity theory; stability correction; wind energy; power law boundary-layer wind profile; similarity theory; stability correction; wind energy; power law
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Newman, J.F.; Klein, P.M. The Impacts of Atmospheric Stability on the Accuracy of Wind Speed Extrapolation Methods. Resources 2014, 3, 81-105.

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