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Wind NI | Wake Effect

Advice Section

Wake Effect

Posted on: January 13th, 2008
Since a wind turbine generates electricity from the energy in the wind, the wind leaving the turbine must have a lower energy content than the wind arriving in front of the turbine. This follows directly from the fact that energy can neither be created nor consumed.
A wind turbine will always cast a wind shade in the downwind direction. In fact, there will be a wake behind the turbine, i.e. a long trail of wind which is quite turbulent and slowed down, when compared to the wind arriving in front of the turbine. (The expression wake is obviously derived from the wake behind a ship).
Wind turbines in parks are usually spaced at least three rotor diameters from one another in order to avoid too much turbulence around the turbines downstream. In the prevailing wind direction turbines are usually spaced even farther apart.