Hugh Bollinger
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Lensing the wind

Japan suffered from an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale earlier this year. It released a massive tsunami that devastated coastal communities and also collapsed a nuclear power complex with multiple electrical generators. The consequences of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are still unfolding for the Japanese economy and the country's people. It isn't surprising that the Japanese have investigating alternative energy technologies that might reduce their nation's dependency on nuclear power. One of the most exciting concepts that could have wide utility is the wind lens that uses an engineering innovation for the aerodynamics of wind turbine designs. If adapted these new turbines could triple the output of standard designs and when operational could generate electricity cheaper than nuclear power. This would be a huge development for industrial production of wind energy. [caption id="attachment_7804" align="aligncenter" width="530" caption="Wind lens, wind turbine design (photo credit: Kyushu University)"][/caption] A video report from Japan's NHK-TV helps to explain the wind lens technology developed at Kyushu University: The United States has exceptional wind resources-- particularly in the prairie and mid-western states --where major wind generators have been installed on leased land in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and elsewhere. The wind lens could also help us to produce more electrical power cleaner than using coal or natural gas. The opportunity for wind engineers couldn't be better. Perhaps the standard fossil fuel mantra of drill baby drill should be changed to blow baby blow! WHB
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