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Multiscale simulations of atmosphere-wind plant interactions during stable conditions and low-level jet events in the AWAKEN experiment

Grant number: 23/12599-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2024
Effective date (End): March 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Transport Phenomena
Principal Investigator:Bruno Souza Carmo
Grantee:William Corrêa Radünz
Supervisor: Julie Kay Lundquist
Host Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Colorado Boulder, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:22/04474-6 - Multi-scale modeling and characterization of winds for onshore and offshore wind-energy applications, BP.PD


Understanding the physics underpinning atmosphere--wind plant interactions, which is a multiscale interplay between boundary layer winds, turbulence, atmospheric stability, and topography, is regarded as one of the great challenges in wind energy science and a necessary step to lowering the costs associated with projects. During the nighttime atmospheric stable conditions, the low-level jets (LLJ) can occur, generally producing stronger winds and power production. However, the strong wind speed gradients cause stronger fatigue loads on turbine blades and are challenging modeling-wise. To fill this scientific gap, the US Department of Energy (DoE) and the National Laboratories, such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), organized the ongoing American WAKe Experiment (AWAKEN) project. The goal is to use observations from a large-scale field experiment in a wind farm cluster in Oklahoma to support the testing of scientific hypotheses and the development of a new generation of multiscale large-eddy simulation (LES) models. Our research with the WRF-LES-GAD approach was well received by the AWAKEN researchers and this ongoing collaboration produced two conference papers, one was presented at the Brazil Wind Power 2023, and the other will be presented at the NAWEA/Windtech conference in Denver, Colorado. Within this context, the proposal involves enhancing our understanding of the physics underpinning atmosphere--wind plant interactions in stable conditions, especially in the challenging LLJs, by using the ongoing AWAKEN project observations and the WRF-LES-GAD approach. The supervisor, Prof. Julie Lundquist from the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder), is a leading wind-energy and atmospheric scientist with seminal work on atmospheric LES, stable boundary layers, LLJs, and WRF-LES-GAD. She also participated in the conceptualization of the AWAKEN project, has a joint appointment at NREL, and has strong links with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These leading institutions in wind energy and atmospheric sciences form a strong ecosystem in Boulder, Colorado, which can be invaluable for collaborations in this proposal. Therefore, the three-month research visit at CU-Boulder under the supervision of Prof. Lundquist would not only strengthen the relationship already started with AWAKEN and build a larger network of international scientists, but also enable testing scientific hypotheses more thoroughly. This would provide tremendous benefits for the postdoctoral research goals and our research group at USP. (AU)

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