AWS Truepower Improving Wind Project Modeling Techniques (USA)

AWS Truepower, LLC, an international leader in renewable energy consulting and information services, has joined a model inter-comparison task from the International Energy Agency (IEA) called WakeBench. More than 40 organizations in 12 countries are participating.

The firms are charged with improving best practices for wind farm modeling techniques and providing a forum for industrial, governmental and academic partners. Results will help develop, evaluate, and improve the atmospheric boundary layer and wind turbine wake models for use in wind energy, both onshore and offshore.

“Our goal is to advance the industry’s ability to accurately model wind turbine wakes, especially in large wind farms,” stated Philippe Beaucage, Senior Research Scientist at AWS Truepower. “AWS Truepower has developed two wake models over the past two years: 1) the Deep-Array Wake Model (DAWM), which is currently implemented in our openWind Enterprise software for wind park design, and 2) a research model based on Large-Eddy Simulations (LES). WakeBench gives us the opportunity to validate and improve these models.”

A wake model attempts to simulate the wakes generated by wind turbines and their impacts on other turbines. As Beaucage explains, “DAWM is adapted from a conventional wake model, and represents an intermediate stage in model advancement. Our more advanced LES model – which resolves most of the energy-containing scales of atmospheric turbulence – simulates both the wind flow and turbine wakes in a single, integrated solution.”

Each WakeBench participant will run their wake model using the same initial conditions in order to do a fair comparison. The models will be validated at several different sites. This project started in October 2011, will last for three years, and is being co-managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain (CENER). CENER, in Spain, is putting together all the test cases and will gather the results from each model and perform the comparison.

“We believe our participation in WakeBench is critical to advancing the industry’s capability in this area,” stated Michael Brower, Chief Technical Officer at AWS Truepower. “Our ultimate goal is to reduce the uncertainty in energy production estimates by applying the best available modeling technology.”

In previous research, AWS Truepower confirmed that large wind turbine arrays can experience greater wake losses than predicted by standard wake models. This led to the development of the DAWM. The WakeBench project is significant because it will expand the number of test cases available for validating and fine-tuning models under a range of conditions.


Offshore WIND staff, February 08, 2012