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Energies 2009, 2(4), 816-838; doi:10.3390/en20400816

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)
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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 wind energy; atmosphere; atmospheric energy loss

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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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.

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