U.S. wind energy installations are growing in both size and number, representing a greater portion of U.S. energy production. To understand the impacts of these complex flow environments on wind turbine operations, the Scaled Wind Farm Technologies (SWiFT) facility was established for experimental study of turbine-turbine wake interactions. Turbine spacing and atmospheric conditions affect many features of waked operation of a wind turbine, including reduced power and increased loads.
A recent analysis of the atmospheric conditions at the SWiFT site performed using historical data from Texas Tech University’s 200m meteorological tower, SWiFT Site Atmospheric Characterization, can be used to inform the design of experimental campaigns. The analysis provides approximate conclusions about the frequency and magnitude of atmospheric conditions important to wind energy at the SWiFT site and scale. The analysis also lets modelers simulate the site prior to experimental campaigns based on probable conditions.
The analysis summarizes bulk atmospheric conditions, such as variable averages and distributions, and determination of the SWiFT turbine IEC design classification. The analysis also characterizes time dependency of atmospheric conditions at the SWiFT site, both seasonally and hourly. Correlated atmospheric conditions, such as atmospheric stability and turbulence levels, are also presented, thus capturing the likelihood of operations at combined sets of atmospheric conditions.
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