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Impact of offshore wind farms on a tropical depression through the amplification effect by the downstream mountainous terrain 

Author:  | China, Environment


  • The evolution of a tropical depression is modified significantly by upstream offshore wind farms.
  • The enhancement of convergence in the western side of the tropical depression is associated with gravity waves.
  • Wind-farm wakes affect the low-level vertical wind shear through the downstream mountainous terrain.

The influence of offshore wind farms in the northern South China Sea on a tropical depression far away (over the Beibu Gulf) is investigated through a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean model. Results show that in the experimental run with the offshore wind farms, the tropical depression located downstream of the wind farm are maintained for longer periods of time. This is mainly due to the stronger convection on the western side of the tropical depression. The stronger convergence in the lower level and divergence in the upper level caused by low-level gravity waves become the key dynamic condition. The primary factor influencing such gravity waves is the rapid decrease of the low-level vertical wind shear. The diagnostic analysis shows that wind-farm wakes affect the local low-level vertical velocity through the downstream mountainous terrain, which makes the vertical momentum term as the main contributing term affecting the variation of the horizontal momentum and subsequently the low-level vertical wind shear. This amplified impact of wind farms through the mountainous terrain may also occur in other regions.

Shaokun Deng, Pengfei Tuo, Daoyi Chen, Shengli Chen, Institute for Ocean Engineering, Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, China
Peining Yu, Shenzhen Institute of Information Technology, Shenzhen, China

Atmospheric Research Volume 296, December 2023, 107047
doi: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.107047

This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Queries e-mail.

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