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Wind resource accessment in complex terrain by wind tunnel modelling

Abstract : To benefit from strong winds, an increasing number of wind turbines are placed in complex terrains. But complex terrains means complex flows and difficult wind resource assessment. This study proposed to use wind tunnel modelling to evaluate the wind in a complex topography. The goal of this study is to evaluate the possibilities of wind resources assessment by wind tunnel modelling and to quantify the important modelling parameters. The lower part of the atmosphere, the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is defined by a velocity and a turbulence gradient. The ABL is reproduced in the wind tunnel by placing obstacles and roughness elements of different size representative to the type of terrain desired. The flow produced in the wind tunnel is validated against field data and a wise choice of the obstacles is discussed to reproduce the desired wind profile. The right reproduction of the inflow conditions is found to be the most important parameter to reproduce. The choice of the area to reproduce around a site in usually difficult to make in order to keep a low scaling factor and to account for the surrounding topography. A series of tests on simplified hills helps the experimentalist in this choice by enlightening the longitudinal and vertical extension of the wake downstream different hills shapes. Finally, two complex topographies are studied in two wind tunnels, the Bolund hill in Denmark and the Alaiz mountain in Spain. The results are giving good results, 5 to 10 %, for predicting the wind speed but more scatter is observed for the modelling of the turbulence, up to 100 %. The laboratory simulation of atmospheric flows proves to be a demanding but reliable tool for the prediction of the mean wind speed in complex terrain.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 7:24:45 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 2:13:41 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 10:20:26 AM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-00843645, version 1


Boris Conan. Wind resource accessment in complex terrain by wind tunnel modelling. Other. Université d'Orléans, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012ORLE2067⟩. ⟨tel-00843645⟩



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