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Wind turbines may benefit crops
Date:12/16/2010

rbine is nothing more than a tall tree with a well-pruned stem. For a starting point for this research, we adapted a computational fluid model that we use to understand trees," said Takle. "But we plan to develop a new model specific to wind turbines as we gather more data."

The team's initial measurements consisted of visual observations of wind turbulence upwind and downwind of the turbines. The team also used wind-measuring instruments called anemometers to determine the intensity of the turbulence. The bulk of the wind-turbulence measurements and the crop-moisture, temperature and CO2 measurements took place in the spring of 2010.

"We anticipate the impact of wind turbines to be subtle. But in certain years and under certain circumstances the effects could be significant," said Takle. "When you think about a summer with a string of 105-degree days, extra wind turbulence from wind turbines might be helpful. If turbines can bring the temperature down below 100 degrees that could be a big help for crops."


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Contact: Steve Karsjen
karsjen@ameslab.gov
515-294-5643
DOE/Ames Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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