The raising global temperatures due to global warming are of major concern for humanity. Cutting down on the conventional energy resources is a solution many nations have taken up which not only helps in reducing global warming but also checks other forms of pollution associated with water and soil. The risk associated with the unconventional methods is much lesser compared with that of conventional sources like nuclear etc. A disaster like Fukushima accident can be well averted. Wind energy is one such cleanest forms of generation of electricity. This article is dedicated to how wind mills are placed in a wind energy farm and how this distribution increases the efficiency of power generation.
Wind mills generate energy when the turbines are rotated by the action of air passing at high velocities. These rotating turbines generate current in the coils embedded, based on what we have learnt about electromagnetic induction during our JC Physics tuition classes. The angular speed at which a turbine rotates decides the amount of electricity generated. This velocity is regulated by several factors like the speed of wind, weight of the turbines, aerodynamic factors which also includes the distribution of these turbines in the farm. If the wind mills are placed in very close proximity (within the allowed range) then the efficiency of power generation goes down. If they are placed too far apart, the number of wind mills in a given area is reduced and this results in less energy produced per unit area in a farm. Hitting the right distribution is hence essential for efficient energy distribution.
How does keeping two windmills within a close proximity affect energy production? Let’s assume two windmills are placed near each other. The direction of rotation (clockwise or anticlockwise) of these turbines is regulated by the direction of wind and hence both the turbines rotate in the same direction. Now take a close look at what is happening on the side of each windmill adjacent to the other. Assuming the windmills are rotating in clockwise direction the turbine of blade of the wind mill on the left (let’s call it A) moves in a downward motion whereas that of the windmill on right (let’s call it B) moves in upwards. Each of these motions are in opposite directions. The windmills are not only moved by the wind but also affect the direction of motion of the air in between. Hence when the turbine of windmill A comes down it pulls the air down and and this pulling of air down hinders the upwardly motion of turbine of windmill B. This hindrance decreases the angular speed of each of the turbines and hence a minimum distance need to be maintained between every two windmills in a wind energy farm.