Those graceful blades rotating in the wind are a triumph in the energy industry. Wind farms and individual turbines produce steady streams of electricity that are entirely sustainable. Burning fossil fuels isn’t as critical to civilized life anymore. At Kurz, our goals include clean energy for nearly everyone across the globe. A simple question comes to mind as wind energy becomes a reality in many regions. How much land is actually needed for wind turbines? Discover the facts and challenges to wind energy right now.
Understanding the Physics of Wind
What is a wind turbine? These structures are merely made up of rotating blades, internal shafts and a generator. As the wind strikes the blades and moves them, kinetic energy becomes electrical power. The trick is to capture as much wind as possible.
Each turbine must be adequately spaced out from the others in the region to reduce drag and turbulence. If you stood in front of a desktop fan, for example, you’d block the air moving behind you. This same concept impacts turbines on a farm. Each one needs a steady stream of air.
Arranging Residential Structures
Spacing residential wind turbines is tricky when you live in a dense area. Most turbines function better when they’re installed in a rural location.
- The experts suggest 492.1 feet of space between the turbine and any obstacle
- The blades must also be 29.5 feet above any of those obstructions
Because of these requirements, you’ll always see residential wind turbines perched on top of tall supports outside of farms and ranches.
Creating the “Perfect” Wind Farm
According to NBC News, a wind farm located in the middle of the ocean with double the acreage of the state of Alaska could power the entire Earth. Because this theory isn’t practical at this point in time, the “perfect” wind farm must be spaced out on land.
For standard rotor diameters of around 262 feet, the spacing between separate structures should be about seven rotor diameters away. These dimensions may seem large, but they’ve been proven effective with steady air flow across hundreds of rotors in the nation for years.
Exploring the Space Between
There’s another main reason why you need so much space between those turbines. What is a wind turbine?
It’s actually made of a huge base to support those blades. A concrete base must be poured in order to give the structure a steady state throughout its lifetime. There are also power stations and roads that must meander between the turbines at the ground level.
All of these components make up a successful wind farm. The spacing makes sense on several levels.
Gravitating Toward the Latest Findings
Researchers are still looking over the industry spacing standard of seven rotor diameters. The latest findings actually indicate that larger spaces between turbines are more efficient, reports Science Daily.
They suggest 15 rotor diameters between structures. This statement is based on the idea that horizontal winds aren’t the only ones playing a part in efficiency. Winds pulled down from higher altitudes are in their equations, which leads to a more complex scenario than realized before.
Dealing With Regional Challenges
The seven rotor-diameter spacing rule doesn’t necessarily span across the globe. Every country, county, city and small town has their own perspective on wind energy. Some turbines have spacing arrangements that are even tighter than seven rotor diameters.
Creating a cohesive rule across the globe has proven difficult, but future wind farms may play into the latest findings. Regional directors of wind farms must take the scientific data into consideration so that their spacing is just as efficient as a facility hundreds of miles away.
Visit Kurztoday for all of your wind-energy questions. Our team works alongside the best in the industry to keep both industrial and residential wind turbines in service. Sustainable energy is the future for Earth. Be part of this growing trend that will change life for the better.