Daily Archives: September 28, 2016

Whalenado of Energy Savings from Biomimicry

This Winds-day’s Amazon product is a whale costume, Rasta Imposta Killer Whale, Black/White, One Size.

Perhaps you think this is nostalgia for Songs Of The Humpbacked Whale.

From Wikipedia: Songs of the Humpback Whale (album)

Songs of the Humpback Whale is a 1970 album produced by bio-acoustician Roger Payne. It publicly demonstrated for the first time the elaborate whale vocalizations of Humpbacks, and became the bestselling environmental album in history, selling over 100,000 copies. By raising awareness of the intelligence and culture of whales the album helped spawn a worldwide ”Save The Whales” movement, leading to the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 10-year global moratorium on commercial whaling (observed by all but a few nations).

Holy Harpoon, Batman!

More importantly, the top selling album led to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

And maybe it led to the recent publication of this Think Like A Tree video, What Can a Humpback Whale Teach a Wind Turbine?, also embedded below. Word of the day: “Tubercles.”

The story may still be around, but the whalepower website is in disarray, with no sign of activity on the windpower generation front. What happened to that? [Update: Seems there is some activity from licensee TEG this year, The Energy Generators – Products.]

Other applications, such as fans using the design, have found a big market with Whale-Power mentioned but under the Whalenado name, Whalenado Product Features.

One of the earliest news articles (2007), from The Toronto Star, local to the Whalepower inventor, has a detailed description of the technology’s benefits and a good answer to why the concept hasn’t taken off for generating power, A Whale of a Tale.

But even if WhalePower can prove beyond a doubt that its blade design is better, it doesn’t necessarily ensure success. Wind-turbine manufacturers can’t keep up with demand for current product, so there’s little incentive to dramatically alter the design of their blades – at least not yet. There’s also no incentive for banks to lend money to wind-farm projects taking a risk on a new blade design.

… [comparison to semiconductor business] …

WhalePower’s hope of retrofitting existing turbine blades – an estimated $50 billion worth around the world – could also prove a tough sell. Adler says retrofitting a blade with tubercles would void the warranty. “Who’s going to take that chance?”

Think about the timing, McFly. 2007 is when Whalepower begins making the eco circuit as a windpower breakthrough. The next year, the global money system fell into chaos. It’s reasonable to assume that money for speculative enterprises blew away in the non-gentle financial breeze.

[Update: Again, seems like there is some recent commercial activity, based on this news item, TEG News about Whalepower license.]