Validating Model Simulations using Wind Lidar Profiles over the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Area
During the summer of 2013, the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) placed several meteorological instruments onboard a ship that traversed the offshore Maryland Wind Energy Area (MD WEA). This campaign provided wind lidar measurements which captured profiles up through turbine heights. The resulting measurements, combined with existing observation sources, provided a validation dataset for developing high-resolution model configurations that best reproduce the wind patterns observed in the MD WEA.
This research highlights case studies showing model-observation comparisons and results from model sensitivity tests conducted using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Sensitivity tests investigated the impact of (1) increasing spatial and vertical resolution, (2) using different operational, reanalysis, and satellite meteorological input, and (3) testing the representativeness of several boundary layer parameterizations. Case studies that were of particular interest to wind energy included sea breeze and low-level jet events, which can impact turbine height winds. This research reveals what simulations produced the best results compared to the observed lidar wind profiles in the MD WEA.