Science

Software update for world’s wind farms could power millions more homes

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A wind farm in South Lanarkshire, UK

A small efficiency gain for every wind turbine would lead to a big boost globally

Justin Paget/Digital Vision/Getty Images

A simple software upgrade could improve the efficiency of wind turbines by ensuring they face directly into the wind more of the time. If the technique were rolled out worldwide, it could boost electricity production by 5 terawatt-hours a year – about the same amount as is consumed annually by Albania or 1.7 million average UK homes.

Wind turbines work most efficiently when directly facing oncoming wind, but changing wind patterns mean they must regularly …

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