Effect of low-level jet height on wind farm performance

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Abstract

Low-level jets (LLJs) are the wind maxima in the lowest 50 to 1000 m of atmospheric boundary layers. Due to their significant influence on the power production of wind farms, it is crucial to understand the interaction between LLJs and wind farms. In the presence of a LLJ, there are positive and negative shear regions in the velocity profile. The positive shear regions of LLJs are continuously turbulent, while the negative shear regions have limited turbulence. We present large eddy simulations of wind farms in which the LLJ is above, below, or in the middle of the turbine rotor swept area. We find that the wakes recover relatively quickly when the LLJ is above the turbines. This is due to the high turbulence below the LLJ and the downward vertical entrainment created by the momentum deficit due to the wind farm power production. This harvests the jet's energy and aids wake recovery. However, when the LLJ is below the turbine rotor swept area, the wake recovery is very slow due to the low atmospheric turbulence above the LLJ. The energy budget analysis reveals that the entrainment fluxes are maximum and minimum when the LLJ is above and in the middle of the turbine rotor swept area, respectively. Surprisingly, we find that the negative shear creates a significant entrainment flux upward when the LLJ is below the turbine rotor swept area. This facilitates energy extraction from the jet, which is beneficial for the performance of downwind turbines.
Original languageEnglish
Article number013305
JournalJournal of renewable and sustainable energy (AIP)
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • wind energy
  • wind farm
  • wind turbine
  • renewable energy
  • large eddy simulations
  • low level jet
  • atmospheric boundary layer
  • fluid dynamics
  • fluid mechanics

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