Riblet Coating from Riblet4Wind is a surface coating that creates a textured surface to reduce turbulence and noise while increasing power in wind turbines.

Benefits

  • Reduced turbine noise
  • Reduced turbulence
  • Increased power

Applications

  • Wind turbine blades
  • Fans, airfoils, and other similar equipment
  • Renewable energy

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 7: Affordable & Clean Energy

The Challenge

When air moves, it generates sound. The more movement, the greater the sound. Onshore wind farms can create a lot of noise, but must comply with local noise regulations. As a result, many onshore wind turbines have to run at reduced power, resulting in less energy, in order to keep noise levels down.

Innovation Details

Riblet Coating is a surface coating that is applied to wind turbine blades. The small riblets in the coating mimic shark denticles, which help to reduce drag and increase lift. This allows the wind turbine to operate with the same effectiveness at lower wind speeds, while also reducing noise.

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Biomimicry Story

Some species of sharks can swim at impressive speeds of 50 km/h (31 mph). Their skin is covered in small bony scales called dermal denticles. It has long been hypothesized that shark scales reduce drag by managing the water flow closest to the skin. In addition, shark denticles may help vortices (low-pressure regions of swirling water) stay attached to particular areas of the shark’s body, resulting in more suction and forward thrust. Thus, a shark’s denticles may increase swimming speeds by increasing thrust in addition to reducing drag.