The Effects of the Bishop Hill Illinois Wind Farm on Near-Surface Wind Patterns

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Sunday, 4 January 2015
Nicholas P. Stewart, Western Illinois Univ., Macomb, IL; and S. T. Cohan and R. L. Herman

Abstract: Wind energy is becoming a larger part of American energy production as wind farms are popping up all over the Midwest, particularly in Illinois, with large groupings of towering wind turbines. While these wind farms are forms of clean energy, they do create unintended effects to the winds around the turbines, and these effects can impact the efficiency of other wind turbines. The purpose of this research is to look at, in high resolution, the wind field around the Bishop Hill, Illinois wind farm and see its effects on the surrounding wind structure. Using the high-resolution radar on the Doppler on Wheels, the horizontal and vertical wind profile around the wind farm is analyzed using PPI and RHI scanning methods. The primary area of research is down wind of the turbines looking at the wake turbulence generated. Using the radar, downstream wind patterns were influenced by the wind turbines as well as the wind structure over the wind farm. Pockets of lesser wind velocities are seen directly correlated to the locations of wind turbines. Turbulence was also generated behind larger groupings of wind turbines. The data collected can be used to look at future placement of wind turbines to help increase their efficiency.