Snow used to determine airflow of wind turbines

Snow used to determine airflow of wind turbines

A wind turbine study was conducted at UMN

A study led by University of Minnesota (UMN) mechanical engineering assistant professor, Jiarong Hong, used snowfall to view the airflow of wind turbines, in an effort to increase efficiencies. The U.S. Department of Energy-funded Eolos Wind Energy Research Center has a 130m tall 2.5kW Eolos wind turbine in Rosemount, Minnesota.
In the morning of February 22, 2013, the research team braved a snowstorm, and illuminated a 36m x 36m area with a large searchlight and reflecting optics to see how the air flowed around wind turbines. The effect is like that of seeing snow in front of your car lights at night. The results of the study show there are significant differences between the airflow in a controlled test lab versus in-field and at much higher heights.
Dr. Hong said, “In the lab we use tracer particles to measure airflows of wind turbine models in wind tunnels, but our research was extremely constrained by an inability to measure flows at the large scale.”
Fotis Sotiropoulos, co-author of the study and also Director of the Eolos Wind Energy Research Center said, “These measurements are extremely important in our efforts to improve the efficiency of wind energy that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Who would have ever thought we’d use a Minnesota blizzard to help fight global warming.”
A video of the study can be seen below:


Posted By Sally on June 27, 2014 | 0 Comment

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