Offshore Wind Energy
Energy production from offshore wind is emerging as one of the top renewable energy technologies in the United States and around the world. This industry is still in its early stages with the first off-shore wind farm (OWF) being commissioned in late 2016. As the industry matures and more OWFs become grid connected, there will be a greater need to develop accurate production estimates for grid and battery management. In addition, refined wind resource assessments are required to improve extreme loading estimates and account for wind energy harvesting. Validated numerical models are the most efficient tool for performing these assessments. Wind models require high-quality information that comes from surface gravity waves and ocean conditions to represent the bottom boundary. We support and collaborate with scientists in the Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change group to improve our understanding of wind conditions. The Ocean Dynamics Modeling group contributes data analysis, wave modeling, and ocean current modeling to support hub-height resource assessments and fully coupled models.
Lidar Buoy Science: Through data analysis and modeling, we investigate the impacts of surface gravity waves and sea surface currents on hub-height wind predictions. Analyses of the sea states are being used to evaluate wind model prediction errors.
This work was funded by the Department of Energy Wind Energy Technologies Office.