Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Huge energy potential in open ocean wind farms: research

But the new research suggests that if the wind energy flowing over the oceans can be converted into electric energy then, it is sufficient enough to power the human civilization. The research article, by Anna Possner and Ken Caldeira, was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

But extracting efficient energy from wind involves more than putting turbines in the path of gale-force winds. "However, it remains unclear whether these open ocean wind speeds are higher because of lack of surface drag or whether a greater downward transport of kinetic energy may be sustained in open ocean environments". Also, it is revealed that floating wind turbines at sea could create up to three times as much electricity as turbines present on land because on the sea the turbines do not face "wind shadow" effect.

"Are the winds so fast just because there is nothing out there to slow them down?" asked Caldeira. "Will sticking giant wind farms out there just slow down the winds so much that it is no better than over land?"

The pair set to work using modelling tools to compare the energy generation of a theoretical open-ocean wind farm with a wind farm in Kansas. This is largely due to the fact that large amounts of heat pouring out of the North Atlantic Ocean and into the overlying atmosphere, especially during the winter. The rate of electricity generation in large wind farms containing multiple wind arrays is, therefore, constrained by the rate of kinetic energy replenishment from the atmosphere above.

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Interestingly, their research found that the tremendous amount of energy generated in their models was incredibly seasonal.

Deep sea wind farms in North Atlantic have potential to generate enough clean electricity which could possibly meet the power requirements of the whole world, according to a new study.

This property of open ocean wind means operators could pack turbines closer together and generate more than 6W/mon average, the simulations found. This contrast in surface warming along the US coast drives the frequent generation of cyclones or low-pressure systems, that cross the Atlantic and are very efficient in drawing the upper atmosphere's energy down to the height of the turbines.

While open water wind turbines are still very much in their infancy, there is hope that this research will provide strong incentives for companies to start developing the technology at a faster rate.

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