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Sharkskin actually increases drag

On an intuitive level, you'd expect a shark's skin to reduce drag. After all, the purpose of sharkskin-inspired riblets—the micro-grooved structures found in aircraft wings, wind turbine blades and Olympic-class swimsuits—is ...

dateMar 15, 2016 in Soft Matter
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Upside-down lightning strikes

Upward lightning strikes initiate on the ground and head skyward. These discharges, which usually begin at the top of tall and slender structures, pose a real risk for wind turbines. An EPFL study analyzes the mechanisms ...

dateDec 11, 2015 in Earth Sciences
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Engineering atoms inside the jet engine

The Periodic Table may not sound like a list of ingredients but, for a group of materials scientists, it's the starting point for designing the perfect chemical make-up of tomorrow's jet engines.

dateJun 29, 2015 in Engineering
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Wind farms perform best when the sun is out

When set up in groups, wind turbines in the front rows cast a wind shadow on those behind them, lowering their performance. These effects dissipate fastest under convective conditions, say EPFL researchers in a recent publication.

dateMar 20, 2015 in General Physics
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