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Energy energy Wind

Vortex Bladeless providing wind energy without blades

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by: Sharai Hoekema
vortex bladeless providing wind energy without blades

In a much needed re-invention of wind turbines, Vortex Bladeless has introduced a concept that has definitely made waves in the energy industry. Its unique concept has been hailed as a technological leap forward and a resolution in the generation of wind power, that will not only make wind energy simpler and more effective, it will also ultimately be more environmentally friendly.

Vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator

The official description of Vortex Bladeless’ product is quite a mouthful: a vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator. It is a way of generating energy using a vorticity phenomenon called Vortex Shedding. In layman’s terms, this is the generation of energy from the spinning motion of air. This basic principle uses cylindrical turbines, which will allow for the development of a spinning whirlpool or vortex when wind passes through it.

As the cylinder swings back and forth in the wind (“oscillates”), it will be subject to sufficient force to find itself vibrating quite heavily, all while remaining fixed to an elastic rod. Using a linear generator, that is quite similar to the one used for harnessing wave energy, this kinetic energy can be captured and used. 

Clear benefits and differences

In fact, some have argued that the Vortex is not quite a wind turbine per se, as it more closely resembles other forms of renewable energy generation. Either way, it has been deemed promising enough to be awarded a grant under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation fund. One of the most obvious selling points is that it provides a clean source of energy, as it uses advanced technology to harvest energy from an aeroelastic oscillation movement. 

Yet at the same time, its largest advantage in comparison to other forms of wind energy would have to be its reduced costs: it requires no gears, bearings or other expensive parts that could easily break and need expensive replacement. Simultaneously, it does not require any oil or intensive maintenance. In fact, costs for manufacturing, operating and maintaining the Vortex will be way down.

Adding to the previous point, it is worth noting that the lower costs also extend to the costs of its effect on the environment at large. The construction and development of this source of wind energy requires much less energy and takes up less space. Production is simple and swift, with a minimal impact on the surrounding area. It is quiet, blends in, does not require contaminants and will not harm birds or in any other way impact the ecosystem it is placed in - according to the official Vortex website.

Easy to put in your backyard or on your worksite

Not many people would be happy to place a wind turbine in their backyard, especially in densely populated areas. It takes up a massive amount of space and would lead to obvious complaints from those living around you. Yet you will find that it is very easy to place a Vortex Bladeless in your area. It is perfectly suited for on-site energy generation through its light weight, simple installation, self-running capacity and limited space required.

This is why the manufacturer has been targeting end-consumers, making it available for grid and off-grid operations, as well as offering hybrid models that allow for integration with, for instance, solar panels. The costs for generating energy are, according to one of the founders, brought down by 40% when compared to conventional forms of wind energy. It is capable of reaching a conversion efficiency of 70 percent - which definitely not excessively high and somewhat lagging behind when compared to their bladed brothers, but a good proposition nonetheless.

The actual potential of the Vortex Bladeless

There are quite a few researchers who question the actual effectiveness of the Vortex Bladeless. Aside from the somewhat limited conversion efficiency, as oscillating cylinders are not capable of converting much of their energy into electricity, there is the question of feasibility of on-site use. In order to generate sufficient energy, the pole-shaped turbine would have to be of a significant size, while an aeronautics professor at MIT questions its claim of being silent. “The oscillating frequencies that shake the cylinder will make noise. It will sound like a freight train coming through your wind farm,” she remarks.

Does this mean that the concept is flawed? Not necessarily. Most innovations are met with trepidation and concerns when first introduced. It is up to the community to come up with ways of building on the existing idea to improve it further. That is how we ended up with massive wind and solar farms as they are. Why not apply this to innovative solutions that simply remove the blades from the wind turbines? 

https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy

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Vortex Bladeless providing wind energy without blades

In a much needed re-invention of wind turbines, Vortex Bladeless has introduced a concept that has definitely made waves in the energy industry. Its unique concept has been hailed as a technological leap forward and a resolution in the generation of wind power, that will not only make wind energy simpler and more effective, it will also ultimately be more environmentally friendly. Vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator The official description of Vortex Bladeless’ product is quite a mouthful: a vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator. It is a way of generating energy using a vorticity phenomenon called Vortex Shedding. In layman’s terms, this is the generation of energy from the spinning motion of air. This basic principle uses cylindrical turbines, which will allow for the development of a spinning whirlpool or vortex when wind passes through it. As the cylinder swings back and forth in the wind (“oscillates”), it will be subject to sufficient force to find itself vibrating quite heavily, all while remaining fixed to an elastic rod. Using a linear generator, that is quite similar to the one used for harnessing wave energy, this kinetic energy can be captured and used.   Clear benefits and differences In fact, some have argued that the Vortex is not quite a wind turbine per se, as it more closely resembles other forms of renewable energy generation. Either way, it has been deemed promising enough to be awarded a grant under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation fund. One of the most obvious selling points is that it provides a clean source of energy, as it uses advanced technology to harvest energy from an aeroelastic oscillation movement.   Yet at the same time, its largest advantage in comparison to other forms of wind energy would have to be its reduced costs: it requires no gears, bearings or other expensive parts that could easily break and need expensive replacement. Simultaneously, it does not require any oil or intensive maintenance. In fact, costs for manufacturing, operating and maintaining the Vortex will be way down. Adding to the previous point, it is worth noting that the lower costs also extend to the costs of its effect on the environment at large. The construction and development of this source of wind energy requires much less energy and takes up less space. Production is simple and swift, with a minimal impact on the surrounding area. It is quiet, blends in, does not require contaminants and will not harm birds or in any other way impact the ecosystem it is placed in - according to the official Vortex website. Easy to put in your backyard or on your worksite Not many people would be happy to place a  wind turbine in their backyard, especially in densely populated areas. It takes up a massive amount of space and would lead to obvious complaints from those living around you. Yet you will find that it is very easy to place a Vortex Bladeless in your area. It is perfectly suited for on-site energy generation through its light weight, simple installation, self-running capacity and limited space required. This is why the manufacturer has been targeting end-consumers, making it available for grid and off-grid operations, as well as offering hybrid models that allow for integration with, for instance, solar panels. The costs for generating energy are, according to one of the founders, brought down by 40% when compared to conventional forms of wind energy. It is capable of reaching a conversion efficiency of 70 percent - which definitely not excessively high and somewhat lagging behind when compared to their bladed brothers, but a good proposition nonetheless. The actual potential of the Vortex Bladeless There are quite a few researchers who question the actual effectiveness of the Vortex Bladeless. Aside from the somewhat limited conversion efficiency, as oscillating cylinders are not capable of converting much of their energy into electricity, there is the question of feasibility of on-site use. In order to generate sufficient energy, the pole-shaped turbine would have to be of a significant size, while an aeronautics professor at MIT questions its claim of being silent. “ The oscillating frequencies that shake the cylinder will make noise. It will sound like a freight train coming through your wind farm,” she remarks. Does this mean that the concept is flawed? Not necessarily. Most innovations are met with trepidation and concerns when first introduced. It is up to the community to come up with ways of building on the existing idea to improve it further. That is how we ended up with massive wind and  solar farms as they are. Why not apply this to innovative solutions that simply remove the blades from the wind turbines?   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy