A vertical-axis turbine, prior to being hoisted upright at Dibiri's pilot project wind farm
Principles observed in schools of fish could improve the efficiency of vertical-axis wind farms (Fish photo: Mila Zinkova)
Schooling fish, it turns out, have a lot to teach us about setting up wind farms. That’s the conclusion reached by John Dabiri, a fluid dynamics expert from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). One of the biggest current problems with wind farms is the large land area that they require - if you place the turbines too close to one another, they will be adversely effected by each other’s turbulence. By applying principles learned from observing fish, however, Dabiri thinks he might have found a solution.
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