Open-ocean wind farms

Oct 12, 2017, 00:37

"On an annual mean basis, the wind power available in the North Atlantic could be sufficient to power the world". Wind speeds are, on average, much higher over ocean than they are over land, which means that theoretically wind farms in the open ocean could capture five times more energy than wind farms on land.

"Are the winds so fast just because there is nothing out there to slow them down?"

Finally, wind turbines need to be created to withstand high wind speeds.

Based on their results, the scientists determined that wind farms built in the area would have a higher maximum force than those on land.

In the search for alternative energies, wind turbines have presented as a possible replacement for fossil fuels.

Till date, the wind energy is obtained through wind turbines which convert the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical power, and then the generator converts this mechanical power to electrical.

The study is backed by the grants from the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research and the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Using modeling tools, the team compared the productivity of large Kansas wind farms to theoretical massive open-ocean wind farms.

"The question was, is there something about the atmosphere or the ocean that allows it to bring down more wind energy to wind farms?"

By focusing on the North Atlantic, Possner and Caldeira found that the drag introduced by wind turbines would not slow winds down as much as they do on land, due largely to the tremendous amounts of heat pouring out of the North Atlantic Ocean into the upper atmosphere - especially during the winter. By GCR staff0 CommentsA wind farm in the middle of the North Atlantic would be five times as efficient as one onshore and could provide limitless low-priced energy, says a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Despite the strong seasonally varying geophysical limit imposed by the atmosphere, we still find that even the smallest wind farm considered in this study would generate sufficient electric power to meet the demand of the European Union in 2015 for 10 out of 12 months of the year", the paper says. It highlights the considerable opportunity for generating wind power in the open ocean, particularly the North Atlantic.

"Wind speeds over open ocean areas are often higher than those in the windiest areas over land, which has motivated a quest to develop technologies that could harvest wind energy in deep water environments".

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