The University of Delaware’s Cristina Archer and her Atmosphere and Energy Research Group found that staggering and spacing out turbines in an offshore wind farm can improve performance by as much as 33 percent.
Mariusz PaŸdziora, Wikipedia Commons
UD researchers found that staggering, instead of aligning, rows of wind turbines in the Lillgrund Wind Farm would have improved performance.
“Staggering every other row was amazingly efficient,” said Archer, associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering and geography in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
The findings, which appeared last month in Geophysical Research Letters, could help engineers plan improved offshore wind farms.
The researchers used an existing offshore wind farm near Sweden as the basis for their study, comparing the existing tightly packed, grid-like layout to six alternative configurations. In some, they kept the turbines in neat rows but spaced them farther apart. In others, they shifted the alignment of every other row, similar to how rows of theatre seats are staggered to improve the views of people further back.
In computer-intensive simulations that each took weeks to run, the team took into account the eddies, or swirls of choppy air, that wind turbines create downwind as their blades spin — and how that air movement would impact surrounding turbines.
They found that the most efficient arrangement was a combination of two approaches. By both spacing the turbines farther apart and staggering the rows, the improved layout would decrease losses caused by eddies and improve overall performance by a third.
The optimal configuration had the rows oriented to face the prevailing wind direction, for example from the southwest in the summer along the U.S. East Coast. Most locations, however, have more than one dominant direction from where wind blows throughout the year. The optimal configuration for a season may not be optimal in another season, when the prevailing wind changes direction and intensity.
Considering these various factors could better inform where and how to configure future offshore wind farms, Archer explained.
“We want to explore all these trade-offs systematically, one by one,” she said.
The study is part of Archer’s overall research focus on wind and applications for renewable energy production. Trained in both meteorology and engineering, she uses weather data and complex calculations to estimate the potential for wind as a power source.
Last year, Archer and colleague Mark Jacobson of Stanford University found that wind turbines could power half the world’s future energy demands with minimal environmental impact.
In a follow-up to that study, Archer and Jacobson examined how worldwide wind energy potential varies seasonally. They found that in most regions where wind farms could feasibly be built on land and offshore, capacity is greatest from December to February.
However, even factoring in seasonal variability, the researchers found there is enough wind to cover regional electricity demand.
Those results were recently published in Applied Geography and share detailed maps and tables that summarize the distribution of wind throughout the world by season.
“I’m hoping these will be tools for giving a general overview of wind at the global scale,” Archer said.
About UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment
UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) strives to reach a deeper understanding of the planet and improve stewardship of environmental resources. CEOE faculty and students examine complex information from multiple disciplines with the knowledge that science and society are firmly linked and solutions to environmental challenges can be synonymous with positive economic impact.
The college brings the latest advances in technology to bear on both teaching and conducting ocean, earth and atmospheric research. Current focus areas are ecosystem health and society, environmental observing and forecasting, and marine renewable energy and sustainability.
CEOE is the administrative base of the Delaware Geological Survey, the Delaware Geographic Alliance and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and is home to the secretariat of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research.
Andrea Boyle Tippett | Newswise
Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
23.03.2017 | North Carolina State University
TU Graz researchers show that enzyme function inhibits battery ageing
21.03.2017 | Technische Universität Graz
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy