Whales Inspire Turbine Blade Technology

BUILDINGS - Smarter Facilities Management

Industry News

11/23/2010

Whales Inspire Turbine Blade Technology

 

Lessons learned from the whale have inspired United States Naval Academy researchers to tackle one of the biggest challenges in ocean turbine technology: the low velocity associated with tidal flows and the difficulty of extracting useful energy from low speed flows in current designs.

"We designed a novel blade modification for potential turbine performance improvement, which was inspired by humpback whale flippers, with the addition of tubercles, or bumps, to the leading edge of each blade," says Mark Murray, a Naval Academy engineering professor. Previous research demonstrated the addition of biomimetically derived protuberances (technology that mimics nature) improved stall characteristics and aerodynamic performance."

The modified “whale blades” proved to be more effective for energy extraction at low speeds. Significantly, the blades did not degrade performance at high flow speeds or increase the mechanical complexity of the turbine.

Application of this whale-inspired turbine design could create turbines that are more effective in converting low velocity tidal flow energy into electricity, as well as being substantially more economically viable.

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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality. 

Search our Trade Pro Directory to find professionals that can help identify energy-efficient natural gas options that save energy and qualify for rebates to save you money.


 
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