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Bad-Science Week?

Posted on 25th June 2018

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Last week, apparently, was bad-science week. I must have missed the announcement.

This promotional video on LinkedIn (if the link doesn't work for you, simply visit, search for "turbine traffic" and click the "Content" button) is about a wind turbine which creates electricity from passing traffic.

The idea that the video authors seem to be pushing is that the electricity thus generated is free. This is, of course, total nonsense. What is actually happening is that the turbines create extra drag for the passing vehicles, meaning that they consume more fuel. In effect, the turbines are stealing energy from the vehicles.

The video states a figure, obviously intended as the power output of a turbine: "One turbine can create 1 Kilowatt of electricity per hour". This is gibberish. A Kilowatt is a measure of power (like a 1 Kilowatt electrical heater), but 1 Kilowatt per hour is a rate of change of power output, and is meaningless in this context.

No wonder so many of the public do not understand science, when it is misreported like this.