Offshore winds and wind energy production estimates derived from ASCAT, OSCAT, numerical weather prediction models and buoys – A comparative study for the Iberian Peninsula Atlantic coast

Highlights

Offshore wind products were compared with measurements in the Iberian Peninsula coast.

The best alternative to measured offshore winds for wind energy assessment is a WRF simulation.

ASCAT coastal winds and CCMP are valid and reliable alternatives to a WRF simulation.

An informed choice of the most accurate offshore wind databases is paramount for offshore wind energy.

Abstract

Different offshore wind datasets were compared with buoys measurements in the Iberian Peninsula Atlantic coast, aiming to assess the best alternatives to ocean surface measured winds for offshore wind energy assessment and other applications.

Results

show that although ASCAT (Advanced SCATterometer) high-resolution product showed the lowest wind speed temporal variability and wind power flux estimations errors, a WRF (Weather Research and Forecast) model high-resolution simulation can be considered as the best alternative for offshore wind energy applications. WRF’s simulation showed wind power flux estimations errors very similar to ASCAT, the best representation of the wind speed mean state and Weibull probability density functions, and provide offshore wind data at typical turbines hub heights. CCMP (Cross-Calibrated Multi-Platform Ocean Surface Wind Vectors) can also be seen as a valid and readily available alternative of offshore wind data.

The findings presented here can be of great value for offshore wind energy applications that focus on ocean areas where measured wind data are not available, or are insufficient for the desired purposes. An informed choice of the most accurate offshore wind databases will provide more realistic wind energy production estimates that will positively impact the preliminary planning stages of offshore wind energy exploration projects.

Keywords

  • Offshore wind energy;
  • Ocean wind;
  • Scatterometers;
  • Iberian peninsula;
  • Reanalyses;
  • WRF

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