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Defense: Megan Schutt

April 4, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

“A validation of stability based estimates of North Carolina’s offshore wind resource using a nested boundary layer method” Wind profile measurements over the ocean, especially in the Atlantic Bight have been historically sparse, making offshore wind resource estimations difficult. This study presents a method for improvement upon the wind resource estimation of coastal North Carolina using a land-based SODAR wind profiler. The influence of the Gulf Stream near the site of measurement, Cape Hatteras, has been found to complicate wind speed estimation at height through its impacts on atmospheric stability. The COARE 3.0 algorithm was used to calculate a Monin-Obukhov Similarity Theory (MOST) scaling parameter, quantifying the degree of stability of the marine environment. Knowledge of upwind conditions aided in estimating the influence of nested internal boundary layers (IBLs) to identify a range of the measured wind profile corresponding to winds over the water. This work suggests that MOST through COARE provides a good estimate of wind-at-height behavior, with some exceptions. Wind profiles from the ocean were typically modeled poorly in unstable conditions, while wind profiles from the sound were typically modeled poorly in stable conditions. The layers identified in the IBL approximations indicate that (1) stable effects in sound cases are overwhelmed by roughness and therefore retain little evidence of the stable environment over the sound, and that (2) in ocean cases, effects of stability can improve wind speed estimation when upwind conditions are well defined, but (3) wind shear is underestimated in all cases, regardless of stability regime. These results should improve the estimate of both the available wind resource, as well as other properties applicable to wind energy engineering, including shear and turbulence behavior.


April 4, 2016
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm