Opening communication lines between propulsion and airflow poses new questions

On the runway to more fuel-efficient aircraft, one alternative propulsion scheme being explored is an array of electrically powered ducted fans. The fans are distributed across the wing span or integrated into the wing. Researchers have gained new understanding in how the fans and especially their precise placement on the aircraft can affect the cross-conversation between propulsion and the airflow around the wing.

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Windier wind farms

Depending on how wind turbines are situated relative to each other and to the prevailing wind, those not directly in the path of the wind could be left to extract energy from significantly depleted airflow. However, according to researchers, there are ways to get around this issue of diminishing wind returns.

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Large-scale US wind power would cause warming that would take roughly a century to offset

Extracting energy from the wind causes climatic impacts that are small compared to current projections of 21st century warming, but large compared to the effect of reducing US electricity emissions to zero with solar. Researchers report the most accurate modelling yet of how increasing wind power would affect climate, finding that large-scale wind power generation would warm the Continental United States 0.24 degrees Celsius because wind turbines redistribute heat in the atmosphere.

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