Wind turbines are usually situated in vast tracts of land, normally in wind farms or places away from the city. This is done because the gale is the strongest in these regions and lets these turbines generate significant amounts of energy. Smaller wind turbines can also be installed in more urbane dwellings but they usually generate tiny outputs.
Researchers are now trying to counter this with the help of a new modeling software. The idea is that there must be such wind turbine designs and positions which could generate greater output when fixed in the urban areas.
The software is being used to determine the ideal positions for wind turbines. In urban areas, wind turbines can’t be set up just like that. Before setting them up, one has to determine the direction of wind turbulence as well as wind speeds.
According to a PhD student at Murdoch University, Amir Tabrizi, who is working on this software, “A knowledge of turbulence intensity helps predict the load on the machine, so it informs the required design strength of turbine components, including the tower and blades. We need accurate data to ensure turbines are strong enough for all conditions.”
The new software is being developed so that it could take into consideration a number of environmental factors such as the height of the turbine, the effects of the surrounding landscape and the direction of the turbine. By taking these factors into consideration, the software can tell what position can be ideal for installing an urban wind turbine.
Tabrizi further says, “For a small wind turbine, mounted on a rooftop, for instance, we need to determine what part of the roof catches the most energy, how far the turbine should be above the roofline and how far back it should be from the edge of the roof.”