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wind turbines in winter

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by apocalypticfiction, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Hi everybody. I thought that I would share an observation. I drive by a large wind turbine every day on my way to work and have noticed that it is actually spinning faster on average now that it has gotten colder. I found this to be surprising. I am certainly no expert on the topic but common sense would suggest that a wind turbine would spin slower during the winter right? (due to the relationship of wind and radiation of energy from the earth) Anyway, I realize this observation is far from scientifically valid, based entirely on my observation of one wind turbine, at one location. I am sure there have been valid studies on this issue, but I thought that I would share some raw observations for what it is worth. Can anyone shed some light on this?
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Actually, colder air is denser and would put more energy into the blades than thinner warmer air at the same speed. However, that has a very limited bearing on the power that can be extracted from the wind. Power available is heavily weighted on the speed of the breeze. Radiation of energy from either the earth or sky, day or night, is at the very best negligible.

    Have to add that there is some control brought to bear on the rotation by the control system that reads demand on the generator. Loading the generator electrically will slow down the rotation. Melbo and Quigley_Sharps are better qualified to address that than I am.
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