Research

Wind Turbines and Weather

A new study reports that wind turbine farms may be changing local surface temperatures, resulting in warmer temperatures at night and cooler temperatures during the day. The result is neither surprising nor new; the motion of the propellers increases the turbulence downstream of the turbines. Turbulent flow mixes much better than laminar flow, so air from above the ground is getting mixed into surface air in the wakes. At night, the air next to the ground cools more quickly than air higher up, so the mixing of higher, warmer air results in localized warmer air on the ground. Orange farmers use this effect when they put out fans at night to keep their crops from freezing. #

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