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A wind turbine without any blades!?

iafrica.com logo: iAfrica logo thumb iafrica.com 2017-02-17 Mikail Baker
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An upstart energy company has come up with an ingenious replacement for conventional wind turbines, inventing one that works without any blades.

The Vortex, which has already met its crowd-funding goal on Indiegogo, aims to create turbines that are made from less material, effectively reducing the impact on the environment and eliminating noise and bird deaths.

“The technology that can change the game is already here - cheap, clean and economically viable,” says the company. “We have developed that technology at Vortex.”

The turbine, made from fiberglass and carbon fiber, works by exploiting vorticity, “an aerodynamic effect that occurs when wind breaks against a solid structure”.

The force causes the turbine to oscillate, and the resulting energy is captured through an alternator.

The company says that the device has no moving parts at all, reducing maintenance costs by 80%. “Computational modeling estimates operational lifetime of the installation to be between 32 and 96 years,” it notes.

Altogether, it estimates that its energy will cost 40% less to produce than conventional turbines.

The catch is the device produces 30% less energy than conventional turbines, but the company notes more Vortex can be placed in the same area.

The next phase of the project is to establish a fully-operational pilot project in India, before rolling out mass-produced models in three different sizes.

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