Physics @ Berkeley
Events in Physics
Title: COLLOQUIUM CANCELLED: Bio-inspired Wind Energy: From Fish Schools And Seagrass To Better Wind Farms    (Colloquia)
Start Date: 02/03/2014
Time: 1:15 pm
Location: 1 LeConte Hall
Speaker: John O. Dabiri
Affiliation: Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, Caltech
Contact Person: Sarah Wittmer   (510) 642-3034

This talk will describe recent efforts using bio-inspired arrays of counter-rotating vertical-axis wind turbines to reduce the cost, size, and environmental impacts of wind farms. Full-scale field tests of 10-meter tall vertical-axis wind turbines in various counter-rotating configurations have been conducted under natural wind conditions over the past four years. Whereas wind farms consisting of propeller-style, horizontal-axis wind turbines produce 2 to 3 watts of power per square meter of land area, these field tests indicate that power densities an order of magnitude greater can be achieved by arranging vertical-axis wind turbines in layouts inspired by the configurations of schooling fish and seagrass beds. The results suggest an alternative approach to wind farming and pose a broad array of interesting, unanswered scientific questions related to the modeling and control of canopy flows.