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Preliminary assessment of the variability of UK offshore wind speed as a function of distance to the coast

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posted on 16.12.2016, 14:52 by Rolando Soler-Bientz, Simon Watson
In the UK, there is an interest in the expected offshore wind resource given ambitious national plans to expand offshore capacity. There is also an increasing interest in alternative datasets to evaluate wind seasonal and inter-annual cycles which can be very useful in the initial stages of the design of wind farms in order to identify prospective areas where local measurements can then be applied to determine small-scale variations in the marine wind climate. In this paper we analyse both MERRA2 reanalysis data and measured offshore mast data to determine patterns in wind speed variation and how they change as a function of the distance from the coast. We also identify an empirical expression to estimate wind speed based on the distance from the coast. From the analysis, it was found that the variations of the seasonal cycles seem to be almost independent of the distance to the nearest shore and that they are an order of magnitude larger than the variations of the diurnal cycles. It was concluded that the diurnal variations decreased to less than a half for places located more than 100km from the nearest shore and that the data from the MERRA2 reanalysis grid points give an under-prediction of the average values of wind speed for both the diurnal and seasonal cycles. Finally, even though the two offshore masts were almost the same nearest distance from the coast and were geographically relatively close, they exhibited significantly different behaviour in terms of the strength of their diurnal and seasonal cycles which may be due to the distance from the coast for the prevailing wind direction being quite different for the two sites.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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WindEurope Summit 2016 Journal of Physics: Conference Series






SOLER-BIENTZ, R. and WATSON, S.J., 2016. Preliminary assessment of the variability of UK offshore wind speed as a function of distance to the coast. WindEurope Summit 2016, Hamburg Messe, Hamburg, Germany, Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 749 (1), 012004, doi:10.1088/1742-6596/749/1/012004


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