Vortex bladeless turbines wobble to generate energy
Categories: Wind Power
We've explored a number of bladeless wind-turbines before – the Solar Aeroturbine being one (though, by definition, not really bladeless as it merely covered the spinning blades with a housing) and the Saphonian being another. The latter being more of a true bladeless "turbine," it still required hydraulic actuation of pistons to generate electricity, so its efficiency was probably not all that great (and, to be perfectly frank, it was not strictly a turbine either as it had no spinning parts).
The Vortex, on the other hand, is purported to take advantage of the swirling motion of wind and not direct force like the aforementioned units. This means that it can generate energy from the repeating pattern of vortices (known as theKármán vortex street), which are generated as the air separates to pass by a blunt body, such as the Vortex structure itself.
This also means that groups of Vortex units can be huddled closer together as the disruption of air movement in the wind stream is nowhere near as critical as it is when positioning standard, blade-driven wind turbines. This will also help ameliorate the inherent efficiencies in each unit as they can be grouped much closer together than their standard turbine counterparts and, therefore, potentially generate more power per square meter.
The first model to be made available commercially will be known as the Mini: a 4 kW, 12.5 meter (41 ft) high unit intended for residential and small-scale commercial application. A larger model, dubbed the Gran, is also being designed and is a unit with a greater than one-megawatt output intended for use in large-scale power generation for industry and electricity companies.
To get their creations to production, the team at Vortex will be launching a crowdfunding campaign, with details to become available via email alerts on the company's website.