This new wind turbine shakes stylishly in the wind, producing electricity without spinning blades. “It completely looks like asparagus,” says David Suriol, one of the creators of this new wind turbine. A Spanish corporation called Vortex Bladeless has created a wind turbine that takes advantage of the vortices formed when wind moves around an obstacle. If you put any object in the way of the wind, it will produce a rippling vortex behind the barrier. This is a problem that has overwhelmed engineers for years: bridges have collapsed due to wind eddies. Vortex Bladeless engineers have made their turbine to take benefit of this vortex. The thin, cone-like turbine is made of carbon fiber and fiberglass with the motor at the end instead of the top (like old turbines) to increase durability. The design makes sure that the wind's vortex swirls synchronously along the complete cone. “The swirls have to work together to reach good performance,” Villarreal clarifies. There is also a circle of magnets at the base of the shaft that give the cycles a boost irrespective of wind speed.
|Image credit: Bladeless wind turbine by Vortex|
There are numerous advantages to the new Vortex design: It is inexpensive to manufacture than present pinwheel turbines. Maintenance prices are also minor because there is no resistance from mechanically moving parts (e.g., the blades on a current turbine), which lessens the need for oiling and bolt replacement. It is completely silent and birds can fly around them securely (though it has yet to be declared whether the turbine is nest-proof.) New wind machinery, however, always gets some doubt: Most wind-harvesting machineries only work at a segment of their most well-organized output. Wind turbines require plane, laminar airflow; the type you only actually find at about 100 meters (328 feet) above the ground.
The idea hasn't been very successful in the past, so it will be exciting to see how Vortex Bladeless tackles different challenges. While this device might not transform Earth's renewable power sources just yet, it's still interesting to see what engineers are creating.