14A.3 The New Reference Facility for Offshore Renewable Energy (RFORE) and Applications to Problems of the Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer

Thursday, 12 June 2014: 8:30 AM
Queens Ballroom (Queens Hotel)
William J. Shaw, PNNL, Richland, WA; and A. Clifton and J. W. Cline

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is planning the development of a new Reference Facility for Offshore Renewable Energy (RFORE). One of the principal purposes of the facility is to provide a continuing source of observations of the atmosphere and ocean that will support research needed to accurately model winds and turbulence in the rotor plane of anticipated offshore wind turbines. The planned location for the RFORE is on the foundation of the Chesapeake Light Tower, approximately 15 km east of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The facility is being developed in collaboration among staff at the DOE headquarters, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). NREL is leading the design and construction of the facility and will operate it once it is completed. PNNL is leading the development of the research program and the RFORE's data management facility.

The RFORE will feature a meteorological tower that will provide in situ measurements at multiple levels to at least 100 m above the sea surface. In addition, several remote-sensing systems including lidars and radars will provide atmospheric wind and thermodynamic measurements throughout the marine atmospheric boundary layer and above. Various measures of sea state and sub-surface structure will also be include, and the platform is expected to ultimately incorporate environmental measurements as well. All data collected as part of the core instrumentation for the facility will be discoverable and freely available for download from the data management facility.

The RFORE is expected to provide a rich and continuing set of data as well serve as a host platform for periodic intensive field studies. The data will allow increased understanding of the behavior of the boundary layer, including the physics controlling the wind and turbulence profiles in non-equilibrium conditions; seasonal and inter-annual variability of wind and sea conditions, including extreme events; and the degree to which models capture or are capable of capturing the spectrum of these conditions. This presentation will review the planned capabilities of the RFORE and discuss several of the renewable energy applications for which we expect its data to be used.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner