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Incredible! Wind turbines inspired by the world's heaviest bird promise an energy revolution

Written by Alisson Ficher
Published 19/06/2024 às 13:58
Wind turbines inspired by the world's heaviest bird promise an energy revolution. (Image: reproduction/ Wikimedia Commons)
Wind turbines inspired by the world's heaviest bird promise an energy revolution. (Image: reproduction/ Wikimedia Commons)

Scientists at the University of Alberta, located in Canada, are developing turbines innovative wind farms that are inspired by nothing more, nothing less, than an Andean condor, the heaviest bird in the world.

According to information contained in a study published in the journal Energy, the innovative design focuses on increasing energy efficiency.

In this sense, the technology uses the shape of the wings of this bird, which is known for being able to achieve impressive speed of 200 km/h in a single flight, taking advantage of ascending air currents.

Inspiration from nature: wind turbines based on the Andean condor

According to the study, the technique used by experts is biomimicry, which applies biological principles with the aim of solving human problems.

In this project, the focus is on winglets, wing tips that curve upward, common in airplanes and gliders. These elements help optimize flight, allowing them to travel greater distances with less energy.

Engineers, in collaboration with Biome Renewables, are adapting these 'C' shaped winglets for wind turbine blades. Studies indicate that this Modification can increase turbine efficiency by up to 10%.

The study also explains that simulations with computational fluid dynamics show an increase of 9,69% in energy production.

Furthermore, the publication states that the innovation is viable with a modest investment and aims to increase the energy production of existing turbines.

Not enough, innovation can reduce electricity costs in Alberta and decrease dependence on fossil fuels.

“This change could make some of our wind farms economically viable on low-wind days,” said Brian Fleck, a fluid dynamics expert and co-author of the study, in the journal publication.

Biomimicry revolutionizes energy efficiency

According to the study, airplane wings generate lift through the difference in pressure between their lower and upper parts, a principle based on Bernoulli's law.

However, at the ends of the wings, vortices form that serve to increase aerodynamic drag and reduce flight efficiency.

Winglets act to reduce these vortices, adjusting airflow at the wingtips and decreasing induced drag.

In this way, according to the publication of Energy magazine, flight performance can be improved, a technique that the Andean condor has applied for millennia and which is now being adapted for wind turbines.

For the authors of the study, the idea promises a more efficient and sustainable future for energy generation and also demonstrates again how nature inspires scientific advances, offering innovative and sustainable solutions to current challenges.

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Alisson Ficher

Journalist graduated since 2017 and working in the field since 2015, with six years of experience in printed magazines and more than 12 thousand online publications. Specialist in topics such as politics, jobs, economics, courses and others. If you have any questions or suggestions for an agenda regarding any of the topics covered on the site, please get in touch.

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