Innovation is the core key of any concepts improvement even when is about green electricity. When talking about wind turbines the surprise has already appeared. A new kind of approaching in using the wind energy to produce green electricity was developed by a Spanish team. They choose to eliminate blades but being more inventive. Their new wind turbines use the vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that produce many spinning vortices and when the wind is strong enough this lead to an oscillation motion.
The idea was developed by the Spanish Vortex Bladeless Company. They claim to produce green electricity with 40 percent less than wind turbines with classical blades. The reduction costs come from its cheaper costs of maintenance. There is no friction between moving parts, no lubricant required, and no replacement of spare parts at all. Many wind tunnel tests, with scaled models have been proof the feasibility of this technology.
The working principle is quite simple. The Vortex Bladeless is made by a pillow base, a cone with two rings of repelling magnets which acts as a kind of nonelectrical engine when its second part, the mast, oscillates under the force of the wind. When that cone oscillates one way, the repelling magnets reject it the opposite part and boost the movement regardless of wind speed. This energy is then converted into green electricity by an alternator that multiplies the frequency of the mast’s oscillation and implicitly the efficiency of green electricity gathering.
As they explained on their website the Vortex Bladeless comes with the following advantages:
– is cheaper to manufacture (51 percent less than a traditional wind turbines) and to maintain because is constructed with no gears, bolts, or other mechanical parts in movement;
– it captures 30 percent less than normal wind turbines but in the same space fits more;
– is totally silent and safer for birds;
– generation and carbon foot print reduction of about 40 percent;
– the landscapes with them on it could look different from those with traditional wind turbines.
The Vortex Bladeless Company expected to growth up to 600 GW power installation till 2020 if in 2013 were only 318 GW installed with the traditional wind turbines and on a market of about 70000 M euro.
They come with two products. Vortex Gran that produce + 1 MW and is oriented for renewable energy investors or electricity companies and the Vortex Mini with only 4kW for domestic or industrial generation, near to the consumption points.
What the future holds? I think it depends what interests will count most.