Seminar coordinator: Prof. Greg McFarquhar (mcfarq at illinois.edu)
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Energy prices, supply uncertainties, and environmental concerns are driving the United States to look towards renewable resources for energy needs. One U.S. Department of Energy campaign is to expand wind energy to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs. To reach this level, wind farms will continue to be integrated into the landscape. Wind farms convert wind’s kinetic energy into electricity and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) altering the flux of momentum, moisture, energy, and mass. The increased turbulence mixes air aloft to the surface altering near surface meteorology and surface fluxes. The removal of kinetic energy from the wind field alters the way boundaries, which are driven by the winds, propagate in and near winds farms. Boundaries approaching wind farms experience decreased convergence ahead of the boundary allowing them to advance more quickly. Likewise, boundaries moving away from wind farms are slowed due to the decrease of winds behind the boundary.
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