WhalePower blades see first deployment in industrial fans

Since I first wrote about Toronto-based WhalePower nearly two years ago, the company has been working away in the background trying to improve its design and document its improved efficiency.┬áThe blades are designed to mimic the bumps or tubercles that line the leading edge of humpback whale flippers. The bumps allow the blades to capture more energy from the wind, and to capture that energy at lower wind speeds. (Click here for background story on the design’s benefits).

Stephen Dewar, co-founder and vice-president of business affairs at WhalePower, says the industrial fan blades are currently being showcased for the first time at the PROMAT trade show in Chicago this week. Envira-North Systems Ltd. of Seaforth, Ontario, has licensed the design for their industrial fans. “These are the first tubercle technology products to come to market,” said Dewar in an e-mail. He said the fans — which use 5 tubercle blades to move the same amount of air as a standard 10-blade unit — are at least 25 per cent more energy efficient. “They produce one fifth the noise of previous state-of-the-art fans (and) require 25 per cent less power.”

WhalePower is still working away on wind-turbine blades, and tests from the Wind Energy Institute of Canada should be completed shortly. Dewar has had an early peek at the results. “They’re terrific,” he teased.

7 thoughts on “WhalePower blades see first deployment in industrial fans”

  1. Thanks for the update- this is such an intriquing extrapolation of a design from nature, along with the background of Dr Fish and his tale of the journey to understand the tubercles on Hump Back Whales, that I have been waiting for more info to surface. Too bad he only teased about the wind turbine blade tests- a successful test, as in upping the efficiency of Wind Turbines, would be a much more significant application than the ceiling fan blades- though more efficient blades that use less materials and energy is good in whatever application it can be applied to.

  2. Fan noise is a big industrial issue. It also is an example of inefficiency, as the more efficient blades are quieter.

    StephenB

  3. This application could also make sense for cooling fans for computers. Especially if they are more efficient and less noisy…and it seems to me there is a pretty large market although likely small margin.

  4. The benefits should be much bigger for wind turbines considering the variable operation and dominance of lower wind speeds in most areas.

    I’ve been wondering what the effect on yearly capacity factor will be in high and low wind speed areas.

  5. I am glad to see that we are making such progress in developing more efficient energy mechanisms by using the clues that God has given us in nature. The future looks very exciting for renewables with these type of developments.

    GREAT BLOG TYLER. Thank you.

  6. This is absolutely fantastic. What companies are out there that I can invest in? This technology will change ever fan in existance making everything more efficient. Whatever company takes it and runs with it will be very successful.

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