PhD position: regional climate modelling for wind farm optimization and control

University of Leuven, Belgium
Closing date: 14 May 2018

The research concentrates on improving existing wind farm parameterization in the regional climate model COSMO-CLM, allowing for wind farm optimization and control. Calibration of model parameters will be done based on results from large eddy model simulation available from TFSO.

COSMO-CLM is a non-hydrostatic mesoscale model and in this project, you will use it to study the interaction between large wind farm clusters and mesoscale weather systems like gravity waves, sea breezes, coastal fronts, convective and wind structures. You will assess the effect of mesoscale weather systems on wind farm power extraction and study the potential for optimization and wind farm control. Moreover you will assess the interaction between neighboring wind farms and get better insight in optimal set point for wind farm operation taking into account the yield from the entire cluster instead of focusing on one farm. You will closely collaborate with the PhD student working at the TFSO group and compare your results with the high-fidelity meso–micro model and fast wind-farm model that TFSO will develop in the course of the project. RCS is a member of the Climate Limited-area Modelling-Community and has strong experience in developing and applying COSMO-CLM.

Candidates have a master degree (at the start of their contract) in one of the following or related fields: earth- and environmental sciences (geography, meteorology, atmospheric sciences, bioscience engineering, etc.), fluid mechanics, physics, mathematics, informatics or civil engineering. You should have a good background or interest in programming (Fortran, C/C++, MATLAB, Python, …). Proficiency in English is a requirement. The position adheres to the European policy of balanced ethnicity, age and gender. Both men and women are encouraged to apply.

Timeline and remuneration: Ideal start time is September 1st 2018, but earlier and later starting dates can be negotiated. The PhD position lasts for the duration of four years, and is carried out at the University of Leuven. During this time, the candidate also takes up a limited amount (approx. 10% of the time) of teaching activities. The remuneration is generous and is in line with the standard KU Leuven rates. It consists of a net monthly salary of about 1900 Euro (in case of dependent children or spouse, the amount can be somewhat higher).