SSK: you've just shown why it is a non-issue.
No I did not show it was a non-issue at all. I simply showed some values that a single study reported, for a specific grid, at a specific location. Thats it. How a potential grid off the NC coast would effect weather and wind, no one knows. But scientist have shown that there are potential impacts, and that is why a whole lot of money is being spent studying it and ways to mitigate any adverse effects. Some of these effects could be positive for kiting and the environment while other could be negative.
I agree with most of the posters...anyone start worrying about a wind farm 6 miles away for a kiting session...I dunno.
It seems that many scientists to include those involved in power generation, NOAA, and NASA are concerned of possible impacts. They believe this concept is worth understanding. It is more than just kiting that could be affected. And again these effects could be positive, negative, minimal, or even large. But to say we should not study it or be interested in possible impacts is not a good position. We built hundred of hydroelectric dams in this country without considering the impacts because of course clean electricity is completely a good thing. In many cases the destruction to the environment and the way of life for those affected outweighed the benefit and now we are ripping them out. On the Outer Banks we have hardened the beaches and dredged inlets to save the beaches. These turned out to cause the oppositte result and are the cause of massive destruction to the island.
With a new power source comes an impact to our environment. Roy says, "Large wind farms can significantly affect local meteorology." He studied these massive machines and believes wind farms can actually impact our weather because wind turns the blades of the turbine around a rotor, which helps generate electricity the blades create a lot of turbulence in the wake. Roy says, "It's something like the wake from the propeller of a boat. Now this added turbulences mixes air up and down and creates a warming and drying effect near the ground." He says the affects can be felt for miles. These studies suggest that while large wind farms can affect local hydrometeorology, there are smart engineering solutions that can significantly reduce those impacts.
If you dislike windfarms for other reasons then that is a different discussion
What? Who said that? I got a whole lot of money invested in wind turbines. No one in this thread has suggested that we should be against wind farms or the proposed ones off of the NC coast. Just by saying there could be an affect on the local weather does not make you against something. Somehow by wondering about potential effects you "should get a job in a coal mine", "start a meth addiction", or you are a "hypocrite." There are a lot of dedicated environmentalists who are interested in studyin and understanding of wind farm effects. I do not see how that makes them hypocritical.
SSK: The safe contrails behind a plane is way less than 3 km. This occurs at much much higher speeds than wqe are talking about.
That is incorrect. Wake turbulence, wing tip voritices, and contrails can and do occur at low speeds. See the below image
That aircraft has a takeoff speed around 140-150 mph. The wingtip velocity of a large turbine seems to be around 120 - 130mph. The aircraft wingtips are creating the same contrails as the image of the Horns Rev 2 wind farm only on a massive scale. That wind farm is 12 square miles.
I threw out some numbers on the Horns Rev 2 study, not to say I was in dire concern of a possible decrease in wind speed. Only to show that there are measureable downstream effects of wind farm. This is a huge mass of disturbed air with pressure, temperature, momentum, velocity, density, and moisture changes. Also there is an effect on the water caused by upwelling and temperature change. The downstream effects could be bigger than a simple slowing of airspeed
As air flows through the blades of a gigantic, 300-foot wind turbine tower, the wind energy turns the blades. This energy is robbed from the atmosphere, effectively slowing the wind speed proportionally. The greater the array of wind turbines, the more energy is removed from the atmospheric flow and the slower the ambient wind will travel. Slowing wind speeds by 5 or 6 miles per hour – while it sounds negligible, could have significant impacts on the large-scale atmospheric flow and yield consequences we do not yet understand.
When air flows through wind turbine blades, the path that the flow takes is slightly altered. The net result is that there is turbulence down wind from the turbine blades. When this turbulence occurs, rather than the ordinary laminar flow, the surface of the ocean is impacted. This turbulence over the ocean water can cause a phenomenon known as upwelling whereby deeper ocean water is drawn up to the surface as surface water is driven down to replace it. When the ocean “turns over” in this manner temperature flow within the body of water is altered. Altering the upwelling patterns of an otherwise undisturbed body of water may have impacts on the currents that naturally exist as part of the large-scale flow. As with the atmospheric air flow impacts of large-scale wind farms, the overall impact of increased ocean current upwelling is not fully understood.
So bottom line there are some real possibilities, that we are only just understanding, and are worth understanding and considering. Does not mean that you should boycott wind farms, club a baby seal, take meth, work in a coal mine, be a hypocrite, lose sleep worried that kiting will be canceled on the OBX, or lose sleep hoping for a newly formed thermal or surf spot. But denying the possibility based on a "gut feel", is like those who deny climate change simply because they do not believe that man could possibly alter the environment on a grand scale. Assuming is has to be all good simply because it is alternative energy is dangerous as shown with hydroelectric. Everything has tradeoffs, but you should at least understand them going in.