• 4 minutes Europeans and Americans are beginning to see the results of depending on renewables.
  • 7 minutes Is China Rising or Falling? Has it Enraged the World and Lost its Way? How is their Economy Doing?
  • 13 minutes NordStream2
  • 13 hours Monday 9/13 - "High Natural Gas Prices Today Will Send U.S. Production Soaring Next Year" by Irina Slav
  • 4 hours GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES
  • 6 hours California to ban gasoline for lawn mowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, off road equipment, etc.
  • 17 hours "Here is The Hidden $150 Trillion Agenda Behind The "Crusade" Against Climate Change" - Zero Hedge re: Bank of America REPORT
  • 6 hours Did China cherry-pick the factors that affected the economic slow-down?
  • 5 days "A Very Predictable Global Energy Crisis" by Irina Slav --- MUST READ
  • 2 days U.S. : Employers Can Buy Retirement Security for $2.64 an Hour
  • 2 days Nord Stream - US/German consultations
  • 408 days Class Act: Bet You've Never Seen A President Do This.
  • 5 days An Indian Opinion on What is Going on in China
  • 2 days Forecasts for Natural Gas
  • 2 days Australia sues Neoen for lack of power from its Tesla battery
  • 5 days Storage of gas cylinders
  • 5 days Can Technology Keep Coal Plants Alive and Well?
Andy Soos

Andy Soos

Andy Soos is a writer for the news site: Environmental News Network

More Info

Premium Content

Building a Better Wind Farm

Large wind farms are being built around the world as a cleaner way to generate electricity, but operators are still searching for the most efficient way to arrange the massive turbines that turn moving air into power. To help steer wind farm owners in the right direction, Charles Meneveau, a Johns Hopkins fluid mechanics and turbulence expert, working with a colleague in Belgium, has devised a new formula through which the optimal spacing for a large array of turbines can be obtained.

Wind Turbines

Turbines used in wind farms for commercial production of electric power are usually three-bladed and pointed into the wind by computer-controlled motors. These have high tip speeds of over 200 mph, high efficiency, and low torque ripple, which contribute to good reliability. The tubular steel towers range from 200 to 300 feet tall. The blades rotate at 10-22 revolutions per minute. At 22 rotations per minute the tip speed exceeds 300 feet per second. A gear box is commonly used for stepping up the speed of the generator, although designs may also use direct drive of an annular generator.

"I believe our results are quite robust," said Meneveau, who is the Louis Sardella Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the university's Whiting School of Engineering. "They indicate that large wind farm operators are going to have to space their turbines farther apart."

New Wind Farms

The newest wind farms, which can be located on land or offshore, typically use turbines with rotor diameters of about 300 feet. Currently, turbines on these large wind farms are spaced about seven rotor diameters apart. The new spacing model suggests that placing the wind turbines 15 rotor diameters apart - more than twice as far apart as in the current layouts - results in more cost-efficient power generation.

The research is important because large wind farms — consisting of hundreds or even thousands of turbines — are planned or already operating in the western United States, Europe and China. "The early experience is that they are producing less power than expected," Meneveau said. "Some of these projects are underperforming."

Earlier computational models for large wind farm layouts were based on simply adding up what happens in the wakes of single wind turbines, Meneveau said. The new spacing model, he said, takes into account interaction of arrays of turbines with the entire atmospheric wind flow.

Meneveau and Meyers argue that the energy generated in a large wind farm has less to do with horizontal winds and is more dependent on the strong winds that the turbulence created by the tall turbines pulls down from higher up in the atmosphere. Using insights gleaned from high-performance computer simulations as well as from wind tunnel experiments, they determined that in the correct spacing, the turbines alter the landscape in a way that creates turbulence, which stirs the air and helps draw more powerful kinetic energy from higher altitudes.

A wind tunnel is a research tool used in aerodynamic research. It is used to study the effects of air moving past solid objects. Wind tunnels were first proposed as a means of studying vehicles (primarily airplanes) in free flight. The wind tunnel was envisioned as a means of reversing the usual paradigm: instead of the air's standing still and the aircraft moving at speed through it, the same effect would be obtained if the aircraft stood still and the air moved at speed past it.

Air currents in the tunnel pass through a series of small three-bladed model wind turbines mounted atop posts, mimicking an array of full-size wind turbines. Data concerning the interaction of the air currents and the model turbines is collected by using a measurement procedure called stereo particle-image-velocimetry, which requires a pair of high-resolution digital cameras, smoke and laser pulses.

By. Andy Soos


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News