Posted by: shoji | June 17, 2008

Whales inspire better blade designs |

WhalePower, a company based in Toronto, takes its inspiration from the whale. The fins of a humpback whale have noticeable bumps on the leading edge– until recently, no one asked the obvious question: “What are they doing there?”

Contrary to prevailing designs and aerodynamic theories, it turns out that the little bumps offer an edge (sorry, bad pun) for the whale.

WhalePower is exploiting nature’s design by adapting wind turbine and other fans to include the bumps. Such changes could lead to a large increase in efficiency, reduction of noise, etc., compared to conventional designs. This could be applied to cooling fans in computers to turbines of wind farms.

Whales inspire better blade designs |
Fish, a biology professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, is now using this technology perfected by nature to produce fans with serrated blades that use 20 percent less electricity than traditional models. This finding contradicts conventional designs that strive for the smoothest possible edges.



  1. Awesome post! I am glad I stopped by. True, if only we looked at nature, our inventors would be able to pick up so more.

    Cheers! Jay

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