Detection and characterization of extreme wind speed ramps
The present study introduces a new method to characterize ramp-like wind speed fluctuations, including coherent gusts. This method combines two well-known methods: the continuous wavelet transform and the fitting of an analytical form based on the error function. The method provides estimation of ramp amplitude and rise time, and is herein used to statistically characterize ramp-like fluctuations at three different measurement sites. Together with the corresponding amplitude of wind direction change, the ramp amplitude and rise time variables are compared to the extreme coherent gust with direction change from the IEC wind turbine safety standard. From the comparison we find that the observed amplitudes of the estimated fluctuations do not exceed the one prescribed in the standard, but the rise time is generally much longer, on average around 200 s. The direction change does however exceed the one prescribed in the standard several times, but for those events the rise time is a minute or more. We also demonstrate a general pattern in the statistical behaviour of the characteristic ramp variables, noting their wind speed dependence, or lack thereof, at the different sites.