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Enhancing the Efficiency of Wind Turbines

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image Wind farm near Tehachapi, California. The costs of producing power with wind turbines continues to drop, but many engineers feel that the overall design of turbines is still far from optimal. (Credit: iStockphoto/Greg Randles)

A milestone in the history of renewable energy occurred in the year 2008.

 

2008 was the year when more new wind-turbine power generation capacity was added in the U.S. than new coal-fired power generation. The costs of producing power with wind turbines continues to drop, but many engineers feel that the overall design of turbines is still far from optimal.

New ideas for enhancing the efficiency of wind turbines are being presented this week at the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting in Long Beach, CA.

One issue confronting the efficiency of wind energy is the wind itself -- specifically, its changeability. The aerodynamic performance of a wind turbine is best under steady wind flow, and the efficiency of the blades degrades when exposed to conditions such as wind gusts, turbulent flow, upstream turbine wakes, and wind shear.

For more on this article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101121195434.htm

Source:Science Daily / University of Toronto

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