Investigation of Offshore Wind Characteristics, Wind Energy Resources and Typhoon Design Loads of Wind Turbines in Hong Kong Considering Climate Change Impacts

Project: Research

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The gradual decline of fossil fuels and the degradation of environment associated with fuel burning have made clean and renewable wind energy the leading alternative energy source in the global market. As offshore wind energy resources are much more abundant than their onshore counterparts, Hong Kong is promoting the harvesting of offshore wind energy, which requires extensive knowledge of offshore wind characteristics and wind energy potential. However, previous offshore wind energy studies have mostly been based on historical records from meteorological stations or buoys; wind resource assessments of large areas have rarely been conducted, and the influence of climate change has seldom been considered. It is therefore imperative to comprehensively investigate the wind characteristics and wind energy potential over the entire offshore area of Hong Kong with consideration of climate change impacts. Moreover, it is of vital importance to determine the typhoon design loads of wind turbines for wind farm development in typhoon-prone regions such as Hong Kong. A dense monitoring network has been established by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) comprising over 50 meteorological stations and 8 buoys. A large variety of measurement devices have been employed by the HKO, including GPS dropsondes, radiosonde balloons, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems, Sonic Detection and Ranging (SoDAR) systems, Doppler radar wind profilers and weather radars as well as anemometers, thermometers and barometers installed on meteorological masts and buoys, etc. The long-term records obtained from these devices will be used in the proposed project to investigate the offshore wind characteristics and provide accurate offshore wind energy assessments and guidelines for the safe design of wind turbines. The aims of the proposed project will be to comprehensively assess the wind energy resources of the entire offshore area of Hong Kong and to investigate the typhoon design loads of wind turbines with consideration of climate change impacts. The study will comprise four closely related tasks: (1) observational studies of offshore wind characteristics and wind energy potential; (2) 3-D analysis of offshore wind fields and wind energy resources using a Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model; (3) projection of future offshore wind energy resources considering climate change uncertainties; and (4) estimation of the typhoon design loads of wind turbines with consideration of climate change. In task (1), a structured database with topographic effects removed will be established based on long-term (~30-year) observational records. A comprehensive analysis of wind energy related parameters will be conducted, and wind characteristics at greater heights will be investigated based on remote-sensing records. To address task (2), 3-D high-resolution offshore wind fields will be generated using a NWP model with data assimilation. An extensive assessment of offshore wind energy resources will be conducted, involving consideration of factors such as spatiotemporal variations, special weather events, and upwind topographic conditions, and the optimum wind farm locations will thus be suggested. To complete task (3), future wind speeds will be projected by the statistical downscaling of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 General Circulation Models (CMIP5 GCMs) in conjunction with long-term observations. Climate change related uncertainties in future wind energy resources will be identified and quantified using Monte Carlo simulations. In task (4), observational records during typhoons will be used to establish typhoon wind and turbulence profile models. Monte Carlo simulations will then be utilized in conjunction with a synthetic typhoon model and CMIP5 GCMs to estimate typhoon wind speeds under climate change, and the typhoon design loads of offshore wind turbines will be thereby determined. The proposed project will enhance our knowledge of offshore wind characteristics, energy resources and typhoon design loads of wind turbines under climate change, and thus facilitate wind farm development in Hong Kong and other typhoon-prone regions of the world. 


Project number9042960
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/21 → …