California Institute of Technology

Wind Energy

The Center's program in bio-inspired wind energy emphasizes fundamental research and development combined with field testing of wind energy technologies. Current efforts are focused on the design of new vertical-axis wind turbine concepts and optimal placement of vertical-axis turbines in large-scale wind farm arrays. Both endeavors aim to improve the yield and reduce the cost of wind energy technology as compared to modern horizontal-axis wind turbine farms. Research on wind turbine design is informed by studies of plant aeroelasticity, while wind farm design is inspired by the spatial arrangements of schooling fish. Activities within the program are conducted in facilities on Caltech’s main campus and at the recently established Caltech Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy in northern Los Angeles County.