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University of Illinois Scientists Observe Wind Farm’s Influence on Weather

University of Illinois scientists have discovered that huge wind farms could be influencing the local air temperatures. This new study was published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”. The data was collected over a period of seven weeks at the wind farm in San Gorgonio near Palm Springs in California.

As per authors Justin J Traiteur and Somnath Baidya Roy at the University, the wind farm causes the cooling down of the local area during daytime while warming up during the night. In a particular instance, the upwind temperature at the wind farm was approximately 100° while the downwind temperature was approximately 93°, due to the wind farm effects.

The authors have theorized that this turbulence created by the wind turbine rotors has led to the changes in temperature by way of enhancing the vertical mixing of cold and warm air. The wind farm consists of 23-meter tall wind turbines that are enabled with rotor blades having a length of 8.5 meters that have a 41 row arrangement each spaced apart by 120 m. The study also concluded that the impact of wind farms on the local weather could be minimized by way of changing the rotor design or by way of establishing wind farms under geographical regions that have high natural turbulence.


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