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Open AccessArticle

Spatiotemporal Correlations in the Power Output of Wind Farms: On the Impact of Atmospheric Stability

1
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
2
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
4
Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(8), 1486; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12081486
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Wind, Wave and Tidal Energy)
The dependence of temporal correlations in the power output of wind-turbine pairs on atmospheric stability is explored using theoretical arguments and wind-farm large-eddy simulations. For this purpose, a range of five distinct stability regimes, ranging from weakly stable to moderately convective, were investigated with the same aligned wind-farm layout used among simulations. The coherence spectrum between turbine pairs in each simulation was compared to theoretical predictions. We found with high statistical significance (p < 0.01) that higher levels of atmospheric instability lead to higher coherence between turbines, with wake motions reducing correlations up to 40%. This is attributed to higher dominance of atmospheric motions over wakes in strongly unstable flows. Good agreement resulted with the use of an empirical model for wake-added turbulence to predict the variation of turbine power coherence with ambient turbulence intensity (R 2 = 0.82), though other empirical relations may be applicable. It was shown that improperly accounting for turbine–turbine correlations can substantially impact power variance estimates on the order of a factor of 4. View Full-Text
Keywords: atmospheric stability; coherence; turbulence; wind farm atmospheric stability; coherence; turbulence; wind farm
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tobin, N.; Lavely, A.; Schmitz, S.; P. Chamorro, L. Spatiotemporal Correlations in the Power Output of Wind Farms: On the Impact of Atmospheric Stability. Energies 2019, 12, 1486.

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