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Title: Simulating sea breeze type climatologies : implications for wind energy, weather forecasting and sailing in the southern North Sea
Author: Steele, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 464X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2013
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The energy industry is currently undergoing a revolution. In the southern North Sea, renewable energy production targets, set by European governments to counter growing concerns over climate change, have sparked an initiative to rapidly construct a large number of offshore wind farms. To meet the targets, the industry must overcome many challenges, one of which is to capitalize on the coastal and offshore wind resource. One particular relative component of the sea breeze system, including the contrasting individual sea breeze types, in the offshore environment and requires further study. Here it is shown through idealized model simulations, that each sea breeze type has distinctive characteristics and that the scales involved have the potential to influence opposing coastlines at length scales equivalent to the southern North Sea. It is revealed, through model sensitivity experiments, that variations due to the choice of model boundary layer scheme significantly alter the characteristics of the sea breeze and verification against onshore and offshore measurement data is conducted in order to quantify model performance. A unique simulated climatology of sea breezes is constructed for 5 different coastlines in the southern North Sea spanning from 2002-2012 using an identification method created to distinguish between the sea breeze types. Crucially, it is found that the frequency of sea breezes is highly dependant on coastal orientation with respect to the gradient wind and that total sea breeze frequency varies by more than a factor of two between coastlines. Furthermore, sea breezes forming on one coastline are shown to directly influence those on another. In order to quantify the impact of each sea breeze on wind energy, the climatology is used to assess wind power production on both spatial and temporal scales. It is found that sea breezes do have the potential to significantly impact offshore wind energy production, including the proposed round 3 farms which are further offshore. Furthermore, the precise impact is dependant on sea breeze type. Pure sea breezes reduce power output through the generation of offshore calm zones, whilst corkscrew sea breezes can add to the wind resource through the formation of coastal jets. The lesser known corkscrew sea breeze is attributed to 70% of the total power contribution of all sea breeze events. As turbines increase both in size and power capabilities, it is also demonstrated that the impact of sea breezes on wind turbine output will be greater in the future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available