Nemo’s Answer to Wind Farming

Nemo's Answer to Wind Farming

more than just a clown-fish

A few visionaries over at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have gone so far as to forget about the air and look to the water for the answers on how best to build a wind farm. More specifically, they decided to study schools of fish. Most wind farms are constructed using horizontal axis turbines because they generate more substantial power from the air flow instead of vertical axis turbines. The problem with this model is that the maximum power a rotor can extract is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. Pondering this paradox, Pasadena scientists wondered – is there a way to overcome this?

That’s where Nemo comes in. More than just a movie star, he knows a thing or two about science. When traveling in his school of fish, Nemo is participating in the Karman vortex street – an aerodynamic phenomenon that keeps school of fish synchronized and reduces the total propulsive power needed per fish. This anecdotal evidence proves that by putting wind turbines closer together – there is actually potential to create more energy instead of less. It appears scientists have stumbled upon a kind of “Eureka!” moment in sustainability. How do we know? Because they’re already pulling out the patents…but poor Nemo probably won’t get a cut on this one. He’s already famous enough.


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