Powerful Ideas: Wind Turbine Blades Change Shape
Morphing blades made of advanced composite materials that can rapidly change their shape depending on the wind could help lead to advanced wind turbines that perform better and last longer.
Wind energy is growing more and more popular worldwide. The United States is currently the world's largest generator of wind energy by total megawatts, and by 2030, the Department of Energy predicts that as much as one-fifth of the nation's power might come from wind. On a per capita basis, other nations are even further ahead of the United States — Denmark, for instance, already gets one-fifth of its power from the wind.
To help wind turbines advance further, scientists are looking into morphing blades, which can rapidly change their aerodynamic profile to best suit the prevailing wind conditions.