Turbulence

When wind passes over land the unevenness of the ground and interference to wind flow from trees or undergrowth will cause a significant amount of turbulence. Turbulent air creates an additional strain on a wind turbine blade, accelerating the onset of fatigue damage. In order to limit this damage as much as possible wind turbine designers will normally place the turbine on a tower, which is tall enough to raise the blades above this turbulent layer of air.

The wind offshore is generally less disturbed because the surface of the sea is smoother, resulting in a thinner turbulent layer and less overall turbulence. Waves in rough seas will increase turbulence and wave height itself needs to be taken into account offshore. Turbine blades should be lifted high enough to avoid the highest waves likely at a particular site. Generally, however, tower heights offshore can be lower than onshore. In both cases site measurements will be needed to ascertain what the optimum turbine height should be.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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