Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Friday, January 28, 2011

TILTING WINDMILLS

The wind energy conversion systems or wind turbines are becoming a common sight on the rural landscape. The benefits of these conversion systems are much debated. The plus is the additional revenue for the property owner. Naysayers talk about aesthetics of the rural landscape and problems with wild life etc.

A report out of Iowa indicates that they may be other benefits. During some research, which is not yet complete, the Ames Laboratory has found that the turbines produce measurable effects on the microclimate near the crops. "The slow-moving turbine blades channel air downwards in effect bathing the crops below via the increased airflow they create."

On cold nights, turbulence stirs the lower atmosphere and keeps nighttime temperatures around the crops warmer. This would offer an extreme benefit in the spring and fall because they would keep the crop a little warmer and help prevent frost. This technology would be beneficial here in the Midwest, but it would seem to be worth millions in the citrus areas of the south where frosts many times destroy crops. end.

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