Wind farm

The Gansu Wind Farm in China is the largest wind farm in the world, with a target capacity of 20,000 MW by 2020.
The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm is an 845 MW wind farm in the U.S. state of Oregon.

A wind farm or wind park is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electricity. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines and cover an extended area of hundreds of square miles, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other purposes. A wind farm can also be located offshore.

Many of the largest operational onshore wind farms are located in China, India, and the United States. For example, the largest wind farm in the world, Gansu Wind Farm in China has a capacity of over 6,000 MW as of 2012,[1] with a goal of 20,000 MW by 2020. As of September 2018, the 659 MW Walney Wind Farm in the UK is the largest offshore wind farm in the world.[2]

Individual wind turbine designs continue to increase in power, resulting in fewer turbines being needed for the same total output. See list of most powerful wind turbines.

Design and location

Map of available wind power over the United States. Color codes indicate wind power density class

The location is critical to the success of a wind farm. Conditions contributing to a successful wind farm location include: wind conditions, access to electric transmission, physical access, and local electric prices.

The faster the average windspeed, the more electricity the wind turbine will generate, so faster winds are economically better for wind farm developers. The balancing factor is that strong gusts and high turbulence require stronger more expensive turbines, otherwise they risk damage. The ideal wind conditions would be strong steady winds with low turbulence coming from a single direction.

Usually sites are screened on the basis of a wind atlas, and validated with wind measurements. Meteorological wind data alone is usually not sufficient for accurate siting of a large wind power project. Collection of site specific data for wind speed and direction is crucial to determining site potential[3][4] in order to finance the project.[5] Local winds are often monitored for a year or more, and detailed wind maps are constructed before wind generators are installed.

Part of the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, Oregon, United States with a turbine under construction

The wind blows faster at higher altitudes because of the reduced influence of drag. The increase in velocity with altitude is most dramatic near the surface and is affected by topography, surface roughness, and upwind obstacles such as trees or buildings.

How closely to space the turbines together is a major factor in wind farm design. The closer the turbines are together the more the upwind turbines block wind from their neighbors. However spacing turbines far apart increases the costs of roads and cables, and raises the amount of land needed to install a specific capacity of turbines. As a result of these factors, turbine spacing varies by site. Generally speaking manufacturers require 3.5 times the rotor diameter of the turbine between turbines as a minimum. Closer spacing is possible depending on the turbine model, the conditions at the site, and how the site will be operated.[citation needed]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Windplaas
العربية: مزرعة الرياح
bosanski: Vjetroelektrana
català: Parc eòlic
čeština: Větrná farma
Cymraeg: Fferm wynt
Deutsch: Windpark
eesti: Tuulepark
Ελληνικά: Αιολικό πάρκο
español: Parque eólico
Esperanto: Ventoparko
français: Parc éolien
hrvatski: Vjetroelektrana
Bahasa Indonesia: Ladang angin
italiano: Parco eolico
magyar: Szélfarm
македонски: Ветроелектрана
Nederlands: Windmolenpark
Nordfriisk: Winjpark
norsk: Vindpark
português: Parque eólico
română: Parc eolian
Simple English: Wind farm
slovenščina: Vetrna elektrarna
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Vjetroelektrana
தமிழ்: காற்றாடி
Tiếng Việt: Trang trại gió