Wind turbines inspired by Whales: interview with Frank Fish at

Professor Frank Fish, West Chester University

Well again, it’s sort of counterintuitive.  I mean, whenever you see wing-like structures, we always think that they need a nice sharp, clean leading edge, so aeroplanes or car spoilers or windmills, or fans, anything like that.  So this is a bit counterintuitive that you wouldn’t think of putting these bumps along the leading edge.  Part of the argument has been that, if you do that, you're going to disrupt the flow in another way and that is, you're going to increase the amount of resistance that wing will go through the air or through the water with.  What we have found with the bumps is actually – there is no penalty for having these bumps along the leading edge.  They don't increase the resistance.  And additionally, as you go up to higher and higher angles, there’s actually a reduction in the amount of resistance compared to a wing that doesn’t have the bumps, simply because the wing isn’t stalling.  When it stalls, the amount of resistance goes up quite a bit.  So we can operate at higher angles with less resistance than if we didn’t have the bumps.. . . .