According to IEEE Spectrum, University of Delaware researchers have discovered that staggering rows of windmills could increase the overall power output of wind farms.
Whether wind farms are on or off shore, there is a tradeoff between getting maximum energy from each individual turbine and packing a greater number of turbines into the space. As each turbine pulls energy from the wind, there is less energy in the downstream wind, which causes array losses for the entire wind farm.
But there may be a simple solution to boost energy production without expanding the boundaries of offshore wind farms. Researchers at the University of Delaware found that staggering turbines in the ocean can improve annual power capacity by 13 to 33 percent.
Ok, not to be too flippant, but . . . isn’t that kind of obvious? If the downstream rotor wake interferes with a downstream turbine, why would you put one right in front of the other?