Ocean Turbine Blades Built to Resemble Whale Flippers



How do you design ocean turbine blades for optimal performance? Some scientists propose building them in imitation of whale flippers:

"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," explains 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."


A startup company called WhalePower is already at work trying to find commercial applications for these new designs.

Article Link and Company Link via Fast Company | Image: Whale Power

Previously: The 15 Coolest Cases of Biomimicry

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@Jim Hubbard, that evolution is not perfect only serves to highlight that it is indeed how animals evolved into their present state today. If all animals were perfect in every way, that would only give the creationists fuel for their arguments that they were created in their present state. Although I must say that the outcome is pretty damned close to perfect in some animals.

There are plenty of examples of imperfect evolution such as the way that our esophagus and wind pipe are right next to each other, creating a choking hazard.

For all we know birds will evolve bumps on their wings in the future. Or perhaps bumps only improve aerodynamics in water.
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IF this is truly the most efficient, then why didn't birds evolve with bumps on the front of their wings?

Surely the bumps would help them fly farther with less energy and help predator birds fly faster to catch their food supply. So, what happened there?
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ok.. i dont think I'm the only one that thinks this... If there is any way to try and make things more efficient. take a look at nature because its already got it figured out. i.e. when the first aviators (wright bros., alberto santos dumont) were inventing planes their designs were whack... until one of them looked at an actual bird... thats when they learned how to rule the skies. either way this article is bad ass...oh and for the internets sake.

FIRST!
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