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Toronto-headquartered WhalePower Corp., designer of wind turbine blades featuring protuberances on the leading edge of the blades, has partnered with the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan) to field-test WhalePower's new blade design.

The blade design concept, called tubercle technology, is modeled after humpback whales' protuberances - called tubercles - found on the leading edge of their pectoral flippers, WhalePower says. These flipper features allow the whale a high level of acrobatic maneuverability for its size.

"Scientific research conducted at major universities and by the U.S. Navy has shown that tubercle technology can operate at much higher pitch, producing much more lift with surprisingly low drag," notes Stephen Dewar, vice president of business affairs at WhalePower. "In wind turbines, that all adds up to more power and more reliability, and that is a major advance for wind power generation."

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