Met Office seeks help on complex wind shear research

UK: The Met Office is calling for collaborators from the wind industry for research into the causes of complex wind shear.

The Met Office is working on improving the way models respond to changes in surface temperature

Tthe industry lacks an in-depth understanding of what happens to turbines when surface features and atmospheric effects cause faster winds to occur below slower ones, said the Met Office in a research paper published on 9 September.

Turbine power curves assume standard shear, with wind speeds smoothly increasing with height over the turbine blades, and broadly similar conditions across the wind project.

Complex wind shear can cause large variations in wind speed over the sweep of a single turbine blade, making it harder to forecast accurately the energy the unit will generate, and contributing to fatigue loading that shortens the life of turbine components.

"Whether estimating return on investment or scheduling maintenance, planners need to consider not just the average speed of the wind, but also its variability," said the report’s author, Met Office research scientist Emily Wallace.