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PhD scholarship in mesoscale modelling large wind farms

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Frist 8. juni 2020

Are you enthusiastic about the leading renewable energy in the world? If you are interested in understanding the atmospheric flow around large offshore wind farms and motivated by discovering the underlying mechanisms that drive their power production, this PhD project can be for you.

Wind resource assessment has for many years applied atmospheric mesoscale modelling to calculate Numerical Wind Atlases. These are wind atlases that are based on modelling rather than wind measurements. Now with greater deployment of wind farms, often in quite concentrated wind farm clusters, it is becoming very important to calculate the impact wind farms themselves have on wind resources.

Mesoscale models do not resolve the flow reduction behind single turbines, instead a volume averaged forcing from all turbines within a mesoscale model grid cell is applied. To increase the accuracy of the parametrization, the thrust force from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models is planned to be used. These models can estimate the flow reduction and thrust due to single turbines. The thrust information may then be provided to the mesoscale model by, for example, look-up-tables and averaged over the grid-cell. The scope of the thrust distribution calculation can also include vertical axis turbines.

In this PhD project, WRF simulations with an improved wind farm parametrization will be performed to study the power production of wind farms and wind farm clusters in coastal areas. The results will be validated against measurements from wind farms from the Train2Wind project partners. WRF simulations will investigate for different atmospheric stability the role of the entrainment of velocity from the upper part of the boundary layer and of the pressure gradients that may accelerate the flow and counteract the turbine induced thrust forces. The results may then be used to investigate how the role of turbine density, layout and different turbine types in determining wind farm efficiency. The future application of the improved parameterization includes the impact of future clusters of large wind farms on environment.

The position is in the Resource Assessment Modelling Section (RAM). The section carries out research and modelling of mesoscale and boundary-layer meteorology. The section works towards improved prediction and mapping, via validated model chains, of flow and environmental conditions—towards effective, improved design and accelerated integration of wind energy. Important topics for the section are assessment of wind conditions at site level; this includes resources, wakes, turbulence, extreme values, variability, and uncertainty, plus other relevant meteorological quantities, and disseminating knowledge of such to the energy sector.

Join us in Train2Wind project as a prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher. Train2Wind is a PhD and researcher training school analysing entrainment in offshore wind farms with computer models and experiments.

By its very nature, a wind turbine extracts energy from the wind, which for a single wind turbine is replenished from the wind field on the sides and above due to the ambient turbulence. However, offshore, the turbulence is lower, and wind farms are typically larger than onshore, therefore the wind can only be replenished from above in a process called entrainment. With a network of 12 PhDs and 8 short-term fellows, Train2Wind will investigate the entrainment process using advanced high-resolution computer and wind tunnel modelling together with measurements of the wind field above, inside and downstream of large wind farms, using lidars, radars and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

Responsibilities and tasks
Your primary tasks will be to

  • Understand, improve and carry out mesoscale modelling including the effects of large wind farms
  • Apply microscale modelling of turbine wake in wind farms to provide thrust information for the mesoscale modelling
  • Develop an improved wind farm parameterization in the mesoscale model WRF
  • Develop appropriate simulation cases with validation against wind measurements and power production datasets
  • Participate in scientific conferences and workshops as well as events in the Train2Wind training network
  • Publish your findings in scientific journals

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

  • A BSc and MSc or equivalent degree in meteorology, geoscience, physics, engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the MSc degree
  • An understanding of boundary-layer meteorology e.g. atmospheric stability and turbulence
  • Experience with numerical modelling of the atmosphere
  • Scientific programming and scripting experience, preferably Fortran and Python
  • Clear and concise communication skills in English
  • A positive attitude, a strong drive and eager to learn

You also work efficiently in a project team and take responsibility for your own research goals. There are additional criteria for Marie Skłodowska -Curie Early Stage Researchers.

Approval and Enrolment
According to EU eligibility criteria for candidates, you have:

  • less than 4 years of equivalent research experience (i.e. working as researcher after obtaining your master’s degree)
  • not been awarded a title of PhD
  • not resided or carried out your main activity in Denmark, for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.

As the successful candidate, you must also fulfill the requirements for admission to a doctoral program at DTU. The present PhD project will take advantage of industrial collaboration with Vattenfall. It is expected that there will be a 3 month secondment to Vattenfall from approximately year 2, to compare modelling approaches and to perform validation using Vattenfall wind farm datasets.

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Head of Section Jake Badger, Senior Researcher Andrea Hahmann, Senior Researcher Xiaoli Guo Larsen, and Senior Researcher Gregor Giebel.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You will be working at DTU’s Risø Campus in Roskilde, Denmark.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Head of Section Jake Badger, jaba@dtu.dk.

You can read more about DTU Wind Energy here https://www.vindenergi.dtu.dk/english/ .

Please submit your online application no later than 8 June 2020 (23:59 local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Wind Energy is one of the largest and most well-known university department for wind energy in the world with 250 employees. We work in close collaboration with industrial partners and other universities from all over the world. We possess scientific and engineering competences to the highest international standards with a focus on onshore and offshore wind energy. We work towards the vision of creating a better world through creation of a more sustainable environment.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
DTU er et teknisk eliteuniversitet med international rækkevidde og standard. Vores mission er at udvikle og nyttiggøre naturvidenskab og teknisk videnskab til gavn for samfundet. 11.200 studerende uddanner sig her til fremtiden, og 6.000 medarbejdere har hver dag fokus på uddannelse, forskning, myndighedsrådgivning og innovation, som bidrager til øget vækst og velfærd.

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