Wind Turbine Placement Produces Tenfold Power Increase

The power output of wind farms can be increased by an order of magnitude - at least tenfold - simply by optimizing the placement of turbines on a given plot of land, say researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) who have been conducting a unique field study at an experimental two-acre wind farm in northern Los Angeles County. John Dabiri, a professor of aeronautics and bioengineering, and his colleagues conducted field tests at the Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy (FLOWE), which houses 24 ten-meter-tall, 1.2-meter-wide vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) - turbines that have vertical rotors and look like eggbeaters sticking out of the ground.