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Title: Could crop height affect the wind resource at agriculturally productive wind farm sites?

The collocation of cropland and wind turbines in the US Midwest region introduces complex meteorological interactions that could influence both agriculture and wind-power production. Crop management practices may affect the wind resource through alterations of land-surface properties. We use the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model to estimate the impact of crop height variations on the wind resource in the presence of a large turbine array. A hypothetical wind farm consisting of 121 1.8-MW turbines is represented using the WRF model wind-farm parametrization. We represent the impact of selecting soybeans rather than maize by altering the aerodynamic roughness length in a region approximately 65 times larger than that occupied by the turbine array. Roughness lengths of 0.1 and 0.25 m represent the mature soy crop and a mature maize crop, respectively. In all but the most stable atmospheric conditions, statistically significant hub-height wind-speed increases and rotor-layer wind-shear reductions result from switching from maize to soybeans. Based on simulations for the entire month of August 2013, wind-farm energy output increases by 14 %, which would yield a significant monetary gain. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal size, shape, and crop height of the roughness modification to maximize the economicmore » benefit and minimize the cost of such crop-management practices. As a result, these considerations must be balanced by other influences on crop choice such as soil requirements and commodity prices.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1240086
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA--5000-65825
Journal ID: ISSN 0006-8314
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Boundary-Layer Meteorology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 158; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0006-8314
Publisher:
Springer
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Alliance Partner University Program (APUP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY agriculture; Iowa; roughness length; wind-farm parametrization; weather research and forecasting model