Wind gusts in the atmospheric boundary layer

Show full item record

Title: Wind gusts in the atmospheric boundary layer
Author: Suomi, Irene
Belongs to series: Finnish Meteorological Institute Contributions 134
ISSN: 0782-6117
ISBN: 978-952-336-025-9
Abstract: Wind gusts, which are short duration (typically 3 s) wind speed maxima, are representative of the extreme wind conditions. They are very important for human activity, because the strongest gusts associated with storms are the most significant single cause of natural hazards. The impact of wind gusts on different structures depends on the characteristics of each structure. For example for wind energy, it is important to know both the probability of extreme maximum gusts in time scales of decades for the design of power plants and in the shorter term to support wind turbine operations. For wind gust forecasting it is essential to have reliable wind gust observations. Traditionally, observations have only been available from weather stations here the wind is usually measured at a reference height of 10 m. For wind energy, information is needed at greater heights, as the hub heights of the largest turbines extend even above 150 m. The main aim of this work has been to investigate wind gusts across the entire atmospheric boundary layer based on observations from tall meteorological masts as well as applying new measurement methods developed in this dissertation. The novel methods are based on turbulence measurements taken onboard a research aircraft and by a Doppler lidar. The research aircraft can fly long distances in a short time, so the measured wind speeds do not represent wind speed variation in time but they are a function of flight distance. The new method developed in this dissertation to compare temporal and spatial scales allows the measurement of wind gusts from a research aircraft. Then, observations can be obtained from places where traditional weather stations or meteorological masts cannot be deployed. Applying the new method, the observed wind gusts from the marine Arctic matched well with those observed at a meteorological mast in the Baltic Sea, although also differences were observed between these environments. Doppler lidar provides radial wind speed measurements along a laser beam transmitted by the instrument. When data from at least three lines of sight are combined, the three-dimensional wind vector can be derived. However, the measurements from multiple lines of sight take several seconds, and the different beams represent different measurement volumes. For these reasons, the measured wind speed maxima from the Doppler lidar used in this work were higher than the corresponding wind gusts from the nearby meteorological mast. In this dissertation, we developed a new theoretical method that significantly reduced this positive bias. Wind gust measurements are usually prone to measurement errors, called outliers. The use of a spike removal algorithm typically applied in traditional turbulence measurements, resulted in significantly improved Doppler lidar data quality. The method performed even better than the traditional data quality assurance methods based on carrier-to-noise ratio, by removing the unrealistic outliers present in the time series. Based on the above wind gust measurements, it was found that in the lowest part of the atmospheric boundary layer the ratio of the wind gust speed and the mean wind speed, called the gust factor, decreases strongly with measurement height. The higher the aerodynamic roughness of the surface, the greater is the change. Moreover, the static stability of the atmosphere affects the gust factor: the decrease of the gust factor with height is clearly smaller in unstable than in stable conditions. The gust parameterizations used in numerical weather rediction models were originally designed for the reference measurement height of 10 m. A new parameterization was developed that takes into account not only the effects of surface roughness and atmospheric stability but also the height above the surface. Based on meteorological mast and research aircraft measurements, the new parametrization yielded better results than previous methods.
Date: 2017-08
Subject: wind gust
atmospheric boundary layer
wind energy
meteorological mast

Files in this item

Total number of downloads: Loading...

Files Size Format View
Irene Suomi Vaitoskirja.pdf 7.560Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record