Up until now, massive wind turbine farms featuring spinning blades have become the norm when it comes to effectively capturing energy from the wind.
A startup out of Spain called Vortex Bladeless is working on a different idea, one that does not require blades, simply bladeless turbines that stick out of the ground like giant vegetables.
While traditional wind turbines utilize the wind to rotate a blade, Vortex’s pillars/turbines take a different approach by shaking back and forth from the vortices created by the movement of air around the structure.
In order to effectively oscillate in the wind, Vortex Bladeless is using magnets to adjust the turbine on the fly to get the most from whatever the wind speeds happen to be.
This process helps the startup avoid having to worry about the company’s bladeless technology not working if the wind is not generating specific frequencies caused by a specific wind speed.
In fact, an alternator in the base of the device begins converting the mechanical movement into electricity as soon as the structure starts vibrating.
All in all, Vortex’s bladeless design captures around 30 percent less energy than a regular turbine, while at the same time reducing maintenance costs thanks to a simple design with minimal moving parts.
The company claims that energy produced by its turbines will cost approximately 40 percent less than the current wind turbines in operation today. Not to mention, the bladeless turbines are cheaper, silent, and take up less space, allowing more of them to be stacked in one area than regular turbines.
A “Mini”, 41-foot model, should be ready for commercialization next year, while a larger, industrial model is underway for 2018.