December 1, 2008

Terrain models reveal prime wind farm turf

Put models of mountainous coastlines in a wind tunnel and you can get a good idea of where to build coastal wind farms without having to take lots of measurements out in the field.

The modular models can be reconfigured to simulate specific types of coastlines, and lasers can measure the strength and turbulence of wind flows over the models.

Models of hills leading to plateaus showed that hills with rounded crests have higher wind speeds and lower turbulence than hills with the same slope but sharp crests. The results show that plateaus behind coastal hills with rounded crests are the best coastal sightings for wind farms.

Research paper:
Wind Tunnel Simulation of Terrain Effects on Wind Farm Siting
Wind Energy, published online November 25, 2008

Researchers' homepage:
Experimental Fluid Dynamics research group, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Back to ERN December 1/8, 2008



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