3 Copyright © 2013 by Abhishek GhoshSuggestions
for deciding site location of wind farms:
Use existing data on migratory and other movementsof wildlife to develop predictive models of risk.
Use new and emerging technologies, including radar,acoustics, and thermal imaging, to fill gaps inknowledge of wildlife movements.
Identify specific species or sets of species most at risk in areas of high potential wind resources.
Offshore marine species
Offshore wind turbines can have similar impacts on marine birds, but as with onshore wind turbines, the bird deathsassociated with offshore wind are minimal. Wind farms locatedoffshore will also impact fish and other marine wildlife. Somestudies
suggest that turbines may actually increase fish populations by acting as artificial reefsStudy
finds offshore wind farms can co-exist withmarine environment.
Weather and climate change
Wind farms may affect weather in their immediate vicinity.Spinning wind turbine rotors generate a lot of turbulence intheir wakes like the wake of a boat. This turbulence increasesvertical mixing of heat and water vapor that affects themeteorological conditions downwind.Usually at night the air closer to the ground becomes colder when the sun goes down and the earth cools. But on huge windfarms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in theatmosphere that is warmer, pushing up the overall temperature.Satellite data over a large area in Texas, which is now covered by four of the worlds largest wind farms, found
that over adecade the local temperature went up by almost 1 Celsius asmore turbines are built.This could have long term effects on wildlifeliving in the immediate areas of wind farms. It could also affectregional weather patterns as warmer areas affect the formationof cloud and even wind speeds. This effect can be reduced byusing more efficient rotors or placing wind farms in regionswith high natural turbulence. Warming at night could benefitagriculture by decreasing frost damage and extending thegrowing season. Many farmers already do this with air circulators.
IMPACT ON HUMANS
The noise from wind turbines stems from:
Aerodynamic noise: The vibration of the blades due tothe passing wind produces this sound.
Shaft noise: This is noise from the shaft and bearingsmoving.
Gearbox noise: Produced from the gear mechanism. Itcan be reduced by using different tooth profiles on thewheels. So-called spur-gears are the most cost-effective though noisiest. Helical gears and herring bone gears offer a much smoother mesh, resulting inless noise. Noise Measurements:A modern
wind turbine has a sound power* level of 90 -100dB. In 350 - 1,000m distance, the sound pressure* level isless than 45db, which is about the same noise level as turning a page in a book. Generally accepted noise levels for windturbines are 35db during night and 45dB during the day in frontof an open window.
is the power of the sound
refers to the power of the sound at the
Wind turbines cast a shadow on their vicinity in direct sunlight.As the blades are turning they may cut through the light beams,causing a flickering effect. The flickering frequency from windturbines is below 2Hz, not in the range that can cause epilepticseizures (5 - 30Hz). Nevertheless, the flickering is annoyingwhen at home and awake.
Throughout this paper, wind power comes out as a victor in therenewable energy field in terms of its impact on theenvironment. Except for some special cases, wind turbines havemore positive impact on the environment as compared to itsnegative impacts. Further, most of the data used in this analysisis old and the newer technologies used now are much moreenvironment friendly.
1. Worldwide electricity production from renewable energysources .
[Online]http://www.energies-renouvelables.org/observ-er/html/inventaire/Eng/conclusion.asp.2. Environmental impact of wind power.
IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sourcesand Climate Change Mitigation. [Online] 2011.http://srren.ipcc-wg3.de/report/.4. Calculation of net energy gains for PV and wind turbines.[Online]https://sites.google.com/site/anatomyofglobalclimatechangevj/data-and-analysis.5. In China, true cost Britains clean green wind power. [Online]http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html.