A one-year comparison of new wind atlases over the North Sea
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS). 2022, 2362, 012009. 10.1088/1742-6596/2362/1/012009
The New European Wind Atlas (NEWA) and the Norwegian hindcast archive (NORA3) database have become publicly available since the end of 2019 and mid-2021, respectively. They aim to model the long-term wind climatology with a spatial resolution of ca. 3 km and a temporal resolution of 1 h (NORA3) or 30 min (NEWA). Both products have a high potential for wind energy applications. Although their geographical coverages partly overlap, an inter-comparison of the NEWA and NORA3 databases in an offshore environment is still lacking. The paper compares the hourly mean wind speed and wind direction recorded in 2009 at the FINO1 platform (North Sea) with hindcast data from the NEWA and the NORA3 database. Both products were found to provide reliable estimates of the mean wind speed at 101 m above sea level. However, NORA3 shows slightly better performances than NEWA for the mean wind speed in terms of root-mean-square error, bias, earth mover's distance (EMD) and Pearson correlation coefficient. For the mean wind direction, a larger circular EMD than previously documented is found, which could be due to a directional bias in the wind vane data. Finally, the Brunt-Väisälä frequency is computed using sea-surface temperature analyses and the air temperature from NORA3 and NEWA at 101 m above sea level. The encouraging description of the static atmospheric stability by the wind atlases opens the possibility to study in more detail thermally-induced wind events for wind resource assessment or wind turbine design.