1 Tahrcountry Musings: Whale Inspired Under Water Turbines

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Whale Inspired Under Water Turbines

The spinoffs from wildlife conservation are enormous. We have only touched the tip of the iceberg. But in our inexorable push for “development” we give scant thought for wildlife conservation. Here is an example of a spinoff from marine conservation.

The low velocity associated with many tidal flows and the difficulty of extracting useful energy from low speed flows had put a damper on the effort to generate electricity from ocean tides. Now researchers from United States Naval Academy have taken a cue from whales to tackle this problem.

The researchers have designed a novel blade modification, which was inspired by humpback whale flippers. The new design has improved stall characteristics and aerodynamic performance .The turbines are very effective in extracting energy at low speeds. Hurray wildlife conservation.

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