7th March 2008 - 07:00 AM
You're both right, Artur and Enthalpy.
The advantage of this design is that it doesn't introduce additional drag at high speeds and normal angles of attack, unlike the traditional vortex generators -- while producing all the benefits (if not more of the benefits.)
It will indeed dramatically boost viability and output of wind turbines, all the while making them quieter. Even for the already-efficient jet turbines on planes or steam turbines in power plants, this could boost the efficiency even higher while reducing the number of blades required (and thus the weight, size, and cost of the turbine.) It has the potential to do absolute wonders for helicopters, allowing them to greatly increase lift while decreasing the speed at which the blades must spin. The added acoustic stealth benefits will be of particular interest to the Pentagon...
In addition, it has the potential to greatly boost the efficiency of fans and AC systems in buildings and cars. It has applications in watercraft as well, anything from submarines to catamarans to jet skies. I wouldn't be surprised to see tubercles on the next generation of oars for Olympic rowing...
Plus, it really is just brilliant in its simplicity as well as its origin. A union of science and engineering, at their best.