The above photograph shows the turbulence field behind the Horns Rev 1 offshore wind turbines. Unique meteorological conditions on 12 February 2008 at 1300 hours resulted in the wind turbines creating condensation (i.e. clouds) of the very humid air, thus making it possible to see the turbulence pattern behind the wind turbines. Such a “measurement” is of great value for wind turbine farm planning, and to help determine the wind field and turbulence interactions among multiple wind turbines.
As the future of nanosynchronized sensors evolve with smaller size and cost, we believe that within 5 to 10 years it will be possible to make a similar measurement by dropping hundreds or thousands of golfball size sensors in the windfield behind the turbines and as the fall to the ground, they will accurately log position, time and wind and atmospheric data. This will make it possible to re-construct the 3 D turbulence field in computer models. If you ever saw the movie Twister, you may recall the flying Pepsi cans which performed the same function, i.e. were nano-synchronized flying transducers that transmitted their data back to a 3D graphics workstation.