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PO100: The five main influencing factors for lidar errors in complex terrain
Tobias Klaas-Witt, Research staff, Fraunhofer Institut for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology (IEE)
Lidars have become a valuable technology to assess the wind resource at hub height of modern wind turbines. However, because of the assumption of homogeneous flow in their wind vector reconstruction algorithms, common wind profile Doppler lidars suffer from errors at complex terrain sites. This study analyses the impact of the five main influencing factors for lidar measurement errors in complex terrain, i.e. orographic complexity, measurement height, surface roughness and forest, atmospheric stability, and half-cone opening angle, in a non-dimensional, model-based parameter study. In a novel approach, the lidar error ε is split up into a part εc, caused by flow curvature at the measurement points of the lidar, and a part εs, caused by the local speed-up effects between the measurement points. This approach allows for a systematic and complete interpretation of the influence of the half-cone opening angle φ of the lidar on the total lidar error ε. It also provides information about the uncertainty in simple lidar error estimations that are based on inflow and outflow angles at the measurement points. The model-based parameter study is limited to two-dimensional Gaussian hills with hill height H and hill half-width L. and , with z being the measurement height, are identified as the main scaling factors for the lidar error. Three flow models of different complexity are used to estimate the lidar errors. The outcome of the study provides various findings that enable an assessment of the applicability of these flow models. The study clearly shows that orographic complexity, roughness and forest characteristics, and atmospheric stability have a significant influence on lidar error estimation. Based on the error separation approach it furthermore allows for an in-depth analysis of the influence of reduced half-cone opening angles, explaining contradiction in the previously available literature. The choice and parameterization of flow models and the design of methods for lidar error estimation are found to be essential to achieve accurate results. The use of a Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model in conjunction with an appropriate forest model is highly recommended for lidar error estimations in complex terrain since forest (and roughness) tends to reduce the lidar error. If atmospheric stability variation at a measurement site plays a vital role, it should also be considered in the modelling. When planning a measurement campaign, an accurate estimation of the predicted lidar error should be carried out in advance to choose a reasonable measurement location. This will decrease measurement uncertainties and maximize the value of the measurement data.