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Investigating the Effect of Large Wind Farms on Energy in the Atmosphere
Atmosphere/Energy Program, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94035, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 August 2009 / Accepted: 27 September 2009 / Published: 30 September 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Energy
Abstract: This study presents a parameterization of the interaction between wind turbines and the atmosphere and estimates the global and regional atmospheric energy losses due to such interactions. The parameterization is based on the Blade Element Momentum theory, which calculates forces on turbine blades. Should wind supply the world’s energy needs, this parameterization estimates energy loss in the lowest 1 km of the atmosphere to be ~0.007%. This is an order of magnitude smaller than atmospheric energy loss from aerosol pollution and urbanization, and orders of magnitude less than the energy added to the atmosphere from doubling CO2. Also, the net heat added to the environment due to wind dissipation is much less than that added by thermal plants that the turbines displace.
Keywords: wind energy; atmosphere; atmospheric energy loss
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Sta. Maria, M.R.V.; Jacobson, M.Z. Investigating the Effect of Large Wind Farms on Energy in the Atmosphere. Energies 2009, 2, 816-838.
Sta. Maria MRV, Jacobson MZ. Investigating the Effect of Large Wind Farms on Energy in the Atmosphere. Energies. 2009; 2(4):816-838.
Sta. Maria, Magdalena R.V.; Jacobson, Mark Z. 2009. "Investigating the Effect of Large Wind Farms on Energy in the Atmosphere." Energies 2, no. 4: 816-838.