Gene Takle, Departments of Agronomy and Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University; Daniel Rajewski, Department of Agronomy


More and more is becoming known about how wind turbines impact the atmosphere and surface around them. Researchers have studied turbulence and its interactions in the boundary layer for many years and how it affects different atmospheric variables. Introducing mechanically-induced turbulence from wind turbines directly influences the atmospheric turbulence, altering the transport of heat, momentum, and moisture fluxes. For this study, multiresolution decomposition was applied to data taken from a wind farm in Central Iowa for the summer months of 2013, with a focus on nighttime events with flow disrupted by several turbines deep in the wind farm (i.e. northerly wind directions). Initial analysis investigated the magnitude of the variances of the vertical velocity component of ambient atmospheric turbulence (w’2) as a function of an averaging timescale to determine influences of turbine turbulence or mesoscale interactions. These interactions were compared to wind direction, turbine status, and time throughout the night to determine correlations of these variables with turbine influence. Whether or not there was direct turbine influence on the vertical velocity component appeared to depend mostly on specific wind directions. Measurement stations directly downwind of the wind turbines were found to be the most influenced, but the degree of influence is sensitive to station location and wind direction.

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Maria Nelson