A folk song declares, "There ain't no bugs on me!" To that, a pair of wind-turbine researchers now can respond, "More power to you!" That's because they've shown that crusty insect
remains on power-generating turbines cause what had been a perplexing loss in efficiency.
In California, wind-turbine operators have learned from experience that if they regularly wash insect debris off their turbines, they avoid performance dips. But the pattern of the dips defied the obvious explanation–that dead insects piling up on blades were slowly sapping turbine power, notes Herman F. Veldkamp of wind-turbine maker NEG Micon of Randers, Denmark.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.