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Tubercle Technology blades

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WhalePower turbine blade / WhalePower C.. / LicenseCopyright - All Rights Reserved

Wind turbine blades increase efficiency

Inspiring Strategies


Product or process
WhalePower developed a new fan and wind turbine blade design using Tubercle Technology. This was inspired by the flippers of humpback whales, which have tubercles or bumps on the leading edges.
Challenges solved
Current wind turbine blades require steady, high winds to generate electricity. The efficiency of electric fans depends upon how much energy they need to move air.
Differences from existing products
Blades designed using Tubercle Technology are more energy efficient. The wind turbine blades require lower wind speeds, increasing the amount of time and the number of locations where they can actively generate electricity.
The biomimicry story
Frank E. Fish noticed that the leading edge of humpback whale flippers have tubercles or bumps. This didn't make sense to him because it went against the normal way of thinking. Through wind-tunnel tests, Fish realized that with the tubercles on the flipper delay the stall angle by approximately 40%, while increasing lift and decreasing drag.

At the bottom of WhalePower's website, the company gives a nod to nature by recognizing their source of inspiration: "A Million Years Of Field Tests."
Comments

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cooldude3
over 3 years ago
We should combine the technology of the Solar Sailor, Tubercle Technology blades, Shark Paint and other clean and efficient technology to create the ultimate ship
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Sherry
over 5 years ago
See this page from WhalePower's website for a list of articles: http://www.whalepower.com/drupal/?q=node/1
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georgepehli
over 5 years ago
I think that the way tubercles work is not to reduce drag. The drag reduction at small angles of attack is nothing but a by-product. What these devices do is much closer to what the vortex generators do, and this has value in stall control and not drag reduction.
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About the Product

Company: WhalePower

Product Phase: Under development

Product Type: Wind turbine blades, fans, pumps

Patent Name: Scalloped Wing Leading Edge; Turbine & Compressor Employing Tubercle Leading Edge Rotor Design

Patent Number: US6431498; WO200604201

Patent Search: Google>>