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Open AccessArticle

Role of Surface Energy Exchange for Simulating Wind Turbine Inflow: A Case Study in the Southern Great Plains, USA

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Atmospheric, Earth and Energy Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue, L-103, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
2
School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Norman, OK 73072, USA
3
Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Rd., Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephan De Wekker
Atmosphere 2015, 6(1), 21-49; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6010021
Received: 29 May 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring The Atmosphere's First Mile)
The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is used to investigate choice of land surface model (LSM) on the near surface wind profile, including heights reached by multi-megawatt (MW) wind turbines. Simulations of wind profiles and surface energy fluxes were made using five LSMs of varying degrees of sophistication in dealing with soil–plant–atmosphere feedbacks for the Department of Energy (DOE) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Central Facility in Oklahoma, USA. Surface flux and wind profile measurements were available for validation. WRF was run for three, two-week periods covering varying canopy and meteorological conditions. The LSMs predicted a wide range of energy flux and wind shear magnitudes even during the cool autumn period when we expected less variability. Simulations of energy fluxes varied in accuracy by model sophistication, whereby LSMs with very simple or no soil–plant–atmosphere feedbacks were the least accurate; however, the most complex models did not consistently produce more accurate results. Errors in wind shear were also sensitive to LSM choice and were partially related to energy flux accuracy. The variability of LSM performance was relatively high suggesting that LSM representation of energy fluxes in WRF remains a large source of model uncertainty for simulating wind turbine inflow conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: WRF; land surface model; Southern Great Plains; ARM; surface energy fluxes; lidar; wind energy; wind shear WRF; land surface model; Southern Great Plains; ARM; surface energy fluxes; lidar; wind energy; wind shear
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Wharton, S.; Simpson, M.; Osuna, J.L.; Newman, J.F.; Biraud, S.C. Role of Surface Energy Exchange for Simulating Wind Turbine Inflow: A Case Study in the Southern Great Plains, USA. Atmosphere 2015, 6, 21-49.

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