Vortex Blades

Vortex Blades may be the turbines of the future. Right now they are just a prototype and still being tested, so there may be some time until actual instillation and use. What’s special about the vortex blades is that they have no turbine blades. It uses a whole different mechanism to generate electricity for the surrounding country. This turbine stands forty feet tall and is hollow. They vibrate like a guitar string when air passes by them. It was created by Spanish engineers in 2010, they said they were inspired by the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster.
The vortex blades are fifty percent less expensive than traditional turbines. While they are thirty percent less efficient as the turbines you are able to install double the amount of them down in a wind farm due to them being bladeless and taking less place. Vortex blades being less expensive helps contribute to you being able to install double the amount of them. This increases the net energy gain by a significant amount even with them being less efficient. Vortex blades are also way more silent than wind turbines so that’s a plus. There is also less maintenance that’s goes into them as they don’t have all the gears and moving parts that wind turbines have. Due to the vortex blades having no turbine blades this is also way safer for birds as they can be killed by running into wind turbine blades.
The vortex blades don’t capture energy via the circular motion of a propeller. Vortex blades take advantage of something called vorticity. Vorticity is an aerodynamic effect that produces a pattern of spinning vortices. A vortex, plural vortices, is a mass of whirling air, an example is a whirlwind. Vorticity has for a long time been an enemy to architects who try to build around it. That is because with enough wind the vorticity can lead to an oscillating motion, which can cause the eventual collapse of the building like in the Tacoma Narrows Bridge incident.
To generate energy the vortex blades have two magnets at the base of the cone structure. This acts as a nonelectrical motor. When the cone oscillates to one side, due to the vorticity, the repelling magnets pull it in the opposite direction, like a slight nudge to boost the masts movement regardless of wind speed. This kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy due to the alternator that multiplies the frequency of the oscillations and improves the energy gathering efficiency.

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4 comments

  1. rogerwleblanc · September 30, 2015

    Anthony, thanks for adding this to our blog. It’s great to hear about new technologies coming through for renewable energy. Energy extraction comes with so many environmental issues (pollution, habitat destruction, climate change), so it’s hopeful to hear about alternatives. Keep us posted if you hear about new developments. Glad to have you in the LLC this year. – Roger

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  2. zmorgott · October 4, 2015

    This new technology sounds really interesting. I have never heard of these until you wrote about them. I like the fact that they are a lot safer for birds, do not make as much noise, and they take up less space than regular turbines. You will have to show me a picture of these next class. I hope that they actually do finish making these because it would be pretty cool to have one on campus.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. joshyboy21 · October 6, 2015

    My understanding of large wind turbines forever changed when I watched the Documentary “Windfall” about people who are exploited by energy companies in low income areas and about the negative health effects of living and especially sleeping near a very large wind turbine. Find it here. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/movies/windfall-a-documentary-on-wind-turbines-by-laura-israel.html?_r=0

    Because of this documentary I fervently support Vortex blades and the development of other clean energy technologies that have yet to be discovered or refined.

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