Reinventing wind energy, these bladeless wind turbines are wildlife friendly, low-maintenance, gearless & silent.
Innovative, affordable and clean wind energy with bladeless turbines
Vortex Bladeless is a Spanish tech startup who are developing an environmentally friendly aerogenerator which needs no blades. It is a new wind energy technology specially designed for on-site generation in residential areas, being able to work on grid, off grid, or along regular solar panels or other generators. As it has no blades, it poses no danger to wildlife.
Vortex bladeless: Reinventing wind turbines
A technological leap forward and a revolution in wind power generation, Vortex Bladeless offers a more cost-effective, environmentally friendly and simpler way to produce energy from wind, say the makers.
Conventional wind turbines have shown that wind is an excellent source of energy. However, some of their features don’t make them suitable for all applications. Vortex technology uses no blades, harnessing energy from wind through oscillation without gears, oils or brakes. Its design makes it perfect for low-cost, quiet on-site generation. Vortex offers;
- Efficient clean power – Vortex technology harvests energy from a fluid when it passes over the surface, creating an ‘aeroelastic oscillation’ movement on the device. Basically, it wobbles.
- Lower costs – No gears or bearings which could break, and no oil is required, Vortex reduces manufacturing, operation and maintenance costs drastically.
- Environmentally friendly – Significant reduction of carbon footprint versus regular wind energy. No oiling or contaminants needed. Quiet and harmless to birds.
- Energy systems integration – Easy to install and operate. Designed for end customers, works on-grid, off-grid, and hybrid in combination with solar panels.
- All-purpose scale – Vortex scalability makes it perfect for on-site energy generation. Put it in your yard over your roof and get clean energy from the wind.
Wobbling in the wind Vortex devices are always oriented to the wind thanks to the mast circular cross section. Wind turbulences or mixed windstreams does not affect the aerogenerator’s function. Source: EnergyNews.es
How it works: the technology and science
Fundamentals of the idea
Vortex Bladeless is a vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator. It harnesses wind energy from a phenomenon of vorticity called ‘Vortex Shedding’. Basically, bladeless technology consists of a cylinder fixed vertically with an elastic rod. The cylinder oscillates on a wind range, which then generates electricity through an alternator system. In other words, it is a wind turbine which is not actually a turbine.
The makers say Vortex wind generators are more similar in features and cost-effectiveness over time to solar panels than to regular wind turbines.
Structure and geometry
The rod’s top supports the mast and it’s bottom is firmly anchored to the ground. It is built of carbon fiber reinforced polymer, which provides a great fatigue resistance and it has a minimal energy leak when oscillating. Naturally, the design of such wind turbine is quite different from a traditional turbine. Instead of the usual tower, nacelle and blades, this device has only a mast made of lightweight materials over a base. This reduces the use of raw materials and the need for a deeper foundation.
This bladeless wind turbine captures the energy from the wind by a resonance phenomenon produced by an aerodynamic effect called vortex shedding. In fluid mechanics, as the wind passes over a blunt body, the flow is modified and generates a cyclical pattern of vortices. Once the frequency of these forces is close enough to a body’s structural frequency, the body starts to oscillate and enters into resonance with the wind. This is also known as Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV).
Vortex Technology, fluid dynamics
This VIV phenomenon is commonly avoided in structural engineering, aeronautics and architecture. Quite the opposite, Vortex’s turbines maximises this aerodynamic instabilities and wind turbulences, capturing this energy.
Vortex’s mast geometry is specially designed to achieve maximum performance to the average observed wind velocities. It is able to adapt very quickly to wind direction changes and turbulent airflows commonly observed in urban environments.
The disturbance of the downstream wind current is why turbines need to be installed far from each other. This doesn’t affect bladeless wind turbines, any limitation associated with the “shadow effect” is avoided. Furthermore, the makers say they actually expect Vortex devices to work better together, “feedbacking” each other.
Vortex Technology is fluid dynamics In fluid mechanics, as the wind passes over a blunt body, the flow is modified and generates a cyclical pattern of vortices. Once the frequency of these forces is close enough to a body’s structural frequency, the body starts to oscillate and enters into resonance with the wind. This is also known as Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV). Source: DukeUniversity/VortexBladeless
Could be available next year!
The Vortex Bladeless Aerogenerator is not currently available to the public, as the company say they need a bit more time to optimise and certificate the Aerogenerator so that it can be sold in each country. After that stage, they will need to industrialise the manufacturing process and set up post-purchase services before truly reaching the consumer market. However, they hope to have an available product for mid-late 2019.
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