Energies (Jun 2015)

Using Satellite SAR to Characterize the Wind Flow around Offshore Wind Farms

  • Charlotte Bay Hasager,
  • Pauline Vincent,
  • Jake Badger,
  • Merete Badger,
  • Alessandro Di Bella,
  • Alfredo Peña,
  • Romain Husson,
  • Patrick J. H. Volker

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 6
pp. 5413 – 5439


Read online

Offshore wind farm cluster effects between neighboring wind farms increase rapidly with the large-scale deployment of offshore wind turbines. The wind farm wakes observed from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) are sometimes visible and atmospheric and wake models are here shown to convincingly reproduce the observed very long wind farm wakes. The present study mainly focuses on wind farm wake climatology based on Envisat ASAR. The available SAR data archive covering the large offshore wind farms at Horns Rev has been used for geo-located wind farm wake studies. However, the results are difficult to interpret due to mainly three issues: the limited number of samples per wind directional sector, the coastal wind speed gradient, and oceanic bathymetry effects in the SAR retrievals. A new methodology is developed and presented. This method overcomes effectively the first issue and in most cases, but not always, the second. In the new method all wind field maps are rotated such that the wind is always coming from the same relative direction. By applying the new method to the SAR wind maps, mesoscale and microscale model wake aggregated wind-fields results are compared. The SAR-based findings strongly support the model results at Horns Rev 1.