Windfarm Concept Inspired by Schools of Fish

Current wind farm technology requires a lot of space between blades. A new report proposes that "counter-rotating vertical-axis wind turbines" would draw power more efficiently on less land.

Hamish Pritchard at BBC News explains that although the vertical-axis turbines are "less efficient individually than the propeller-style turbines, they are able to use turbulent winds from many directions." The technology is currently being tested in the California desert by engineers from CalTech.

The "school of fish" influence is reflected in the momentum gained, rather than lost, by clumping the turbines close together. Current blades are less efficient when close together because of turbulence, but the new turbines benefit from the funneled wind because they can gather gusts from all directions. The next step for CalTech's team is to see if the effect will work on a larger scale.

Full Story: Schools of fish help squeeze more power from wind farms


building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95