Chaschas you sould do a little research as windgenerators do earn their keep and profits nicely.
Please don't confuse the finacial vehicles known as wind farms with whether wind is viable. Facts are in many places wind is the low cost energy source and those using it are paying lower costs. A recent utility study forcast that wind in the mid to west will keep the cost of electricity down. Afterall it only takes 2kw of wind generator to power an eff home and tetail they are going for $2k/kw in larger sizes.
Facts are now solar PV, Solar CSP/CHP, wind are all now under $2k/kw or will be soon. At that pricepoint it's less costly than retail coal.
As for Indy Aerodynamics it's mostly used for downforce and using hp to overcome the large aero drag it causes. It's a very hard thing to design because things like paint lines have brought down airplanes and air coming out sideways from the racecar, etc create all kinds of problems.
I depend on weight, low CG to keep me stuck to the earth and just use aero to lower drag to increase range.
Bill Allison discovered that his best configuration was with 10 blades, dead flat, highly polished, 8deg, in a 12 blade configuration was best.
He would talk about a cone of resistance which you couldn't see until he got a hunk of dry ice in a baking pan with water. Then you would see this nacelle like a P-51 nose cone show up with the 12 blade config. He would point out that to be an area of high pressure and that the oncoming wind would circumvent and avoid it hence losing efficiency. When he removed two blades directly opposite of each other the cone would instantly disappear and he said that the condition was in place to pull the most power.
So something similar must happen when 3 cars are abreast. The air in front must copress to some degree and a car lagging a little behind would suffer from having to battle the compressed oncoming stream.
The issue then would be how to insure that the air directly in front of one car would becontained and related to that car rather than shunting it off and making it much more difficult to the competitor. That almost insinuates flat fins on eather side of the vehicle forcing the air over the top rather than trying to buffet your neighbor.
This article just underscores how much aerodynamics have created parades rather than races. With the incredible emphasis of creating a car that can be driven flat out all the way around Indy, driver skill is secondary. If you look at an Indy or F1 car there are all sorts of wickers, splitters, trim tabs, diffusers, flaps, etc. designed to keep the car glued to the road with minimal drag. Unfortunately this creates unpredictable handling when running close to other cars so there is no way to pass unless one car is a lot faster (i.e., less drag) than another. I would really like to see substantial limits on aerodynamics, including an outright ban on wind tunnel testing, so that driver skill and the ability to pass are brought back into racing.
I wrote that Allison hit the Betz limit. That is 59% efficient.
The current 3 bladed fans achieve less than 20% efficient.
From an engineering perspective, what kind of improvement is that?
From what I have witnessed, engineers will kill for a 3% increase in efficiency.
Those dufus 3 bladed flying fans were known by Bill to be bogus over 30 years ago. Yet the engineers persist on the wrong path without any sort of proper testing and development and no one has stopped to understand that it's not the principle of flying but the principle of resisting that extracts the greatest amount of energy from the wind.
Ever hear of a spinnaker, or a parachute, or a windmill? They resist to extract the energy.
So Buford, in saying that he lost $150,000,000 on his farm was destined to lose because he followed some of those engineers who were advocating the very poor design approach.
You mention all sorts of testing. Where? There virtually has been none. There really is no testing and development facility that is objectively examining this issue anywhere in the world. Was Bill lying? I don't believe that at all.
As a 73 year old Architect who co-oped at the Corporate Engineering Staff at the GM Tech center, while attending GMI, I am aware of what it takes to develop something properly. And I have witnessed many lying engineers in my life, particularly those wedded to the political world.
And I have witnessed similar things in the Architectural world
No profession is completely and inherently noble. To be sure there are magnificent efforts like those of Sam Williams and Bob Lutz and Burt and others but politics seems to muck things up very quickly.
Actually Robinson Helicopter could solve the issue. They know how to set up a non confined air flow wind "tunnel".
Bill (Architect), I won't disagree that "the way we've always done it" often wins out over creativity and methodology and I'm also no aerodynamic expert, but I would argue that such an exhibition like that of Watson could help fund research that would potentially benefit millions of people...
Not idiocy at all, Architect. Simulation is used as design shortcuts, not as final solutions. It works well to get to the finer tuning stage - then real life comes to play.
The wind engine is still a "pie in the sky" - it can't earn its own keep - even after the billions spent on research and pilot projects. It can't pass "real life". You can only "bang your head on the wall" for so long.
Don't be questiong the ethics of a noble profession because it cannot perform miracles.
Totally fascinating to me that this kind of ingeniousness and intelligence and creativity can be put forth for an entertainment venue.
But when it comes to something like perfecting the wind engine which could impact the lives of millions of people, no effort is put forth at all. Just a bunch of lemming stuff based upon a 1946 design found in the Bowels of the NASA drawing files.
When the magnificent Automotive Suspension Engineer, Bill Allison set out to see if he could hit the Betz limit, he did very methodically. And he became convinced that a confined flow wind tunnel produced supercharged, erroneous results so he created a non confined flow test environment. The results were amazing.
Yet idiocy persists, and the ethics of a profession are constantly called to question.
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