Share this post by: Sharai Hoekema February 18 In a much needed re-invention of wind turbines, Vortex Bladeless Wind Turbine has introduced a concept that has definitely made waves in the energy industry. Its unique bladeless turbine concept has been hailed as a technological leap forward and a resolution in the generation of wind power How The Bladeless Wind Turbine Works The Vortex bladeless wind turbine will not only make wind power simpler and more effective, it will also ultimately be more environmentally friendly. The Vortex wind turbine: bladeless windpower generator. It is a way of generating energy using a vorticity phenomenon called Vortex Shedding. This basic principle uses cylindrical turbines, which will allow for the development of a spinning whirlpool or vortex when wind passes through it. Using a linear generator, that is quite similar to the one used for harnessing wave energy, this kinetic energy can be captured and used.

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Vortex says its bladeless turbines will generate electricity for 40 percent less than the cost of power from conventional wind turbines. Generators and gearboxes sitting on support towers meters off the ground can weigh more than tons.

As the weight and height of turbines increase, the materials costs of wider, stronger support towers, as well as the cost of maintaining components housed so far from the ground, are cutting into the efficiency benefits of larger turbines.

The alternative energy industry has repeatedly tried to solve these issues to no avail. But the latest entry promises a radically different type of wind turbine: a bladeless cylinder that oscillates or vibrates. Spanish startup Vortex Bladeless has developed turbines that harness vorticity, the spinning motion of air or other fluids. When wind passes one of the cylindrical turbines, it shears off the downwind side of the cylinder in a spinning whirlpool or vortex.

That vortex then exerts force on the cylinder, causing it to vibrate. The kinetic energy of the oscillating cylinder is converted to electricity through a linear generator similar to those used to harness wave energy.

The bridge collapsed in due to excessive vibrations formed by the spinning motion of wind as it blew past the bridge and is a textbook engineering failure. The Vortex turbine sounds promising, but like any radical new alternative energy design, bladeless turbines have plenty of skeptics. A conventional wind turbine typically converts 80 to 90 percent of the kinetic energy of its spinning rotor into electricity.

As Vortex builds bigger devices that catch higher-speed winds further from the ground, it will also run up against other challenges inherent to the physics of fluid mechanics.

Air or other fluids moving at low speeds past small-diameter cylinders flow in a smooth, constant motion. Increase the diameter of the cylinder and the speed at which the air flows across it, however, and the flow becomes turbulent, producing chaotic eddies or vortices.

The turbulent flow causes the oscillating frequency of the cylinder to vary, making it difficult to optimize for energy production. It flies in a large circle similar to the tip of a conventional turbine blade while harnessing wind power via smaller onboard turbines. John Dabiri, an aeronautics and bioengineering professor at Caltech, is testing different configurations of vertical axis turbines, which are essentially windmills that spin like a merry-go-round rather than on a horizontal axis like a bicycle wheel.

Typically wind turbines are placed far apart from each other to optimize energy production. Drawing on the same principles that fish use to conserve energy by schooling, Dabiri found that turbines placed close to each other could produce more energy than those that are far apart. Dabiri says such synergistic effects could also apply to conventional, horizontal axis windmills or even oscillating turbines.

The latter pose a greater challenge because the wake of such turbines is very chaotic but also a potential benefit because the wake packs a lot of energy, he says.


Unconventional wind turbines

In , Inventor Nikola Tesla patented a bladeless steam turbine that he claimed was the most efficient and the most simple rotary engine ever designed. Their turbine will be presented in this article along with other bladeless turbines like it that will enable us to revolutionize energy wind energy production worldwide. In fact these units can be installed on existing power poles in rural areas, to catch the wind and send its energy back to the plant. The saphonian bladeless wind turbine uses their patented zero-blade technology When wind interacts with the patented "Zero-Blade Technology", it drives pistons which then convert the wind energy into mechanical energy. Hydraulic pressure is then produced and converted into electricity using a hydraulic motor and generator. Incredibly, Saphon Energy claims that the efficiency of their Saphonian turbine exceeds the Betz limit. You can learn more about the Saphonian bladeless wind turbine in the following video.


Vortex Bladeless Wind Turbine - The Future of Wind Turbines?

Vortex technology[ edit ] Vortex Bladeless is a vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator, as compared to HAWT horizontal axis wind turbines and VAWT vertical axis wind turbines that work by rotation. This new technology seeks to overcome issues related to traditional wind turbines such as maintenance, amortization, noise, birds and environmental impact, logistics, and visual aspects. According to the company, Vortex generators have a small carbon footprint and use a low amount of raw materials compared to regular wind turbines of the same height. However the goal of the company is not to be competitors of current wind industry but to offer a small-wind alternative for the end-consumer market and low-consumption systems, which is a market not really exploited by conventional wind power. It is composed of a fixed piece where the device is attached to a base anchoring, and a flexible part which, acting as a cantilever , interacts freely with the fluid in an oscillation movement.

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