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Energy lost from Wind Turbines

  1. Oct 5, 2009 #1
    What is the effect of wind turbines on the aerodynamic of the wind system? Since energy is conserved, will excessive turbines lead to a leakage of wind energy and transformed into mechanical energy? [or concert to heat?]

    Also, what is the effect of the local pressure? Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    All wind energy is caused by and eventually gets dissipated as heat. Friction with the ground, trees, and viscous friction in the air dissipate the wind energy. If you use a wind turbine to capture this energy, the heat energy that would have been dissipated is instead converted to electricity, making the atmosphere cooler. But fear not: virtually all electrical energy is also eventually dissipated as heat.
  4. Oct 5, 2009 #3


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Don't forget that the largest wind turbines only affect about the first 200 m above the ground, so there is a lot of atmosphere above the turbines. One has also to look at the separation between the turbines.

    Dynamic pressure is affected immediately behind the turbines and the wind would be slightly less, but then the extracted energy is a small factor compared the wind energy over several km - before, above and after the turbines.

    Rather than lost, I think a better term would be extracted by the turbine or removed from the wind.
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