A Novel Framework for Spatiotemporal Analysis of Temperature Profiles Applied to Europe

S. Jamaer aDepartment of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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D. Allaerts bFaculty of Aerospace Engineering, TU Delft, Delft, Netherlands

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J. Meyers cDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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N. P. M. van Lipzig aDepartment of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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Abstract

Vertical temperature profiles influence the wind power generation of large offshore wind farms through stability-dependent effects such as blockage and gravity waves. However, numerical tools that are used to model these effects are often computationally too expensive to cover the large variety of atmospheric states occurring over time. Generally, an informed decision about which representative nonidealized situations to simulate is missing because of the lack of easily available information on representative vertical profiles, taking into account their spatiotemporal variability. Therefore, we present a novel framework that allows a smart selection of vertical temperature profiles. The framework consists of an improved analytical temperature model for the atmospheric boundary layer and lower troposphere, a subsequent clustering of these profiles to identify representatives, and last, a determination of areas with similar spatiotemporal characteristics of vertical profiles. When applying this framework on European ERA5 data, physically realistic representatives were identified for Europe, excluding the Mediterranean. Two or three profiles were found to be dominant for the open ocean, whereas more profiles prevail for land. Over the open ocean, weak temperature gradients in the boundary layer and a clear capping inversions are widespread, and stable profiles are absent except in the region of the East Icelandic Current. Interestingly, according to the ERA5 data, at its resolution, coastal areas and seas surrounded by land behave more similar to the land areas than to the open ocean, implying that a larger set of model integrations are needed for these areas to obtain representative results for offshore wind power assessments in comparison with the open ocean.

Significance Statement

Numerical tools used to simulate the effect of large, offshore wind farms on neighboring farms and the atmosphere are very expensive. Therefore, they can only be computed for a limited number of cases. As temperature is one of the most important parameters in these kinds of simulations, this work provides a new vertical temperature model and an analysis framework that allows for a smart selection of these cases such that they ideally represent the full variation of the atmosphere’s temperature profiles.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: S. Jamaer, sebastiaan.jamaer@kuleuven.be

Abstract

Vertical temperature profiles influence the wind power generation of large offshore wind farms through stability-dependent effects such as blockage and gravity waves. However, numerical tools that are used to model these effects are often computationally too expensive to cover the large variety of atmospheric states occurring over time. Generally, an informed decision about which representative nonidealized situations to simulate is missing because of the lack of easily available information on representative vertical profiles, taking into account their spatiotemporal variability. Therefore, we present a novel framework that allows a smart selection of vertical temperature profiles. The framework consists of an improved analytical temperature model for the atmospheric boundary layer and lower troposphere, a subsequent clustering of these profiles to identify representatives, and last, a determination of areas with similar spatiotemporal characteristics of vertical profiles. When applying this framework on European ERA5 data, physically realistic representatives were identified for Europe, excluding the Mediterranean. Two or three profiles were found to be dominant for the open ocean, whereas more profiles prevail for land. Over the open ocean, weak temperature gradients in the boundary layer and a clear capping inversions are widespread, and stable profiles are absent except in the region of the East Icelandic Current. Interestingly, according to the ERA5 data, at its resolution, coastal areas and seas surrounded by land behave more similar to the land areas than to the open ocean, implying that a larger set of model integrations are needed for these areas to obtain representative results for offshore wind power assessments in comparison with the open ocean.

Significance Statement

Numerical tools used to simulate the effect of large, offshore wind farms on neighboring farms and the atmosphere are very expensive. Therefore, they can only be computed for a limited number of cases. As temperature is one of the most important parameters in these kinds of simulations, this work provides a new vertical temperature model and an analysis framework that allows for a smart selection of these cases such that they ideally represent the full variation of the atmosphere’s temperature profiles.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: S. Jamaer, sebastiaan.jamaer@kuleuven.be
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