Articles | Volume 28, issue 5
03 May 2010
 | 03 May 2010

The influence of humidity fluxes on offshore wind speed profiles

R. J. Barthelmie, A. M. Sempreviva, and S. C. Pryor

Abstract. Wind energy developments offshore focus on larger turbines to keep the relative cost of the foundation per MW of installed capacity low. Hence typical wind turbine hub-heights are extending to 100 m and potentially beyond. However, measurements to these heights are not usually available, requiring extrapolation from lower measurements. With humid conditions and low mechanical turbulence offshore, deviations from the traditional logarithmic wind speed profile become significant and stability corrections are required. This research focuses on quantifying the effect of humidity fluxes on stability corrected wind speed profiles. The effect on wind speed profiles is found to be important in stable conditions where including humidity fluxes forces conditions towards neutral. Our results show that excluding humidity fluxes leads to average predicted wind speeds at 150 m from 10 m which are up to 4% higher than if humidity fluxes are included, and the results are not very sensitive to the method selected to estimate humidity fluxes.