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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-349
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-349
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: methods for assessment of models 20 Mar 2020

Submitted as: methods for assessment of models | 20 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

The Making of the New European Wind Atlas, Part 1: Model Sensitivity

Andrea N. Hahmann1, Tija Sile2, Björn Witha3,4, Neil N. Davis1, Martin Dörenkämper5, Yasemin Ezber6, Elena García-Bustamante7, J. Fidel González Rouco8,9, Jorge Navarro7, Bjarke T. Olsen1, and Stefan Söderberg10,11 Andrea N. Hahmann et al.
  • 1Wind Energy Department, Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde, Denmark
  • 2Institute of Numerical Modelling, Department of Physics, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
  • 3ForWind, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany
  • 4energy & meteo systems GmbH, Oldenburg, Germany
  • 5Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems, Oldenburg, Germany
  • 6Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 7Wind Energy Unit, CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain
  • 8Dept. of Earth Physics and Astrophysics, University Complutense of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 9Institute of Geosciences, IGEO (UCM-CSIC), Madrid, Spain
  • 10WeatherTech, Sweden
  • 11Renewable Energy Analytics, DNV-GL Energy, Sweden

Abstract. This is the first of two papers that documents the creation of the New European Wind Atlas (NEWA). It describes the sensitivity analysis and evaluation procedures that formed the basis for choosing the final setup of the mesoscale model simulations of the wind atlas. An optimal combination of model setup and parameterisations was found for simulating the climatology of the wind field at turbine-relevant heights with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Initial WRF model sensitivity experiments compared the wind climate generated by using two commonly used planetary boundary layer schemes and were carried out over several regions in Europe. They confirmed that the largest differences in annual mean wind speed at 100 m above ground level mostly coincide with areas of high surface roughness length and not with the location of the domains or maximum wind speed. Then an ensemble of more than 50 simulations with different setups for a single year was carried out for one domain covering Northern Europe, for which tall mast observations were available. Many different parameters were varied across the simulations, for example, model version, forcing data, various physical parameterisations and the size of the model domain. These simulations showed that although virtually every parameter change affects the results in some way, significant changes on the wind climate in the boundary layer are mostly due to using different physical parameterisations, especially the planetary boundary layer scheme, the representation of the land surface, and the prescribed surface roughness length. Also, the setup of the simulations, such as the integration length and the domain size can considerably influence the results. The degree of similarity between winds simulated by the WRF ensemble members and the observations was assessed using a suite of metrics, including the Earth Mover's Distance (EMD), a statistic that measures the distance between two probability distributions. The EMD was used to diagnose the performance of each ensemble member using the full wind speed distribution, which is important for wind resource assessment. The most realistic ensemble members were identified to determine the most suitable configuration to be used in the final production run, which is fully described and evaluated in the second part of this study.

Andrea N. Hahmann et al.

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Andrea N. Hahmann et al.

Model code and software

WRF configuration files for NEWA mesoscale ensemble and production simulations A. N. Hahmann, N. N. Davis, M. Dörenkämper, T. Sile, B. Witha, and W. Trei https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3709088

Andrea N. Hahmann et al.

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Latest update: 28 Mar 2020
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Short summary
This is the first of two papers that documents the creation of the New European Wind Atlas (NEWA). It describes the sensitivity analysis and evaluation procedures that formed the basis for choosing the final setup of the mesoscale model simulations of the wind atlas. An ensemble of more than 50 simulations with different configurations for a single year was done and assessed using a suite of metrics.
This is the first of two papers that documents the creation of the New European Wind Atlas...
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