The technology of using wind power is continuously developing. The international technical assistance project “Removing Barriers to Wind Power Development in Belarus” is interested in the latest developments in this sphere. During the implementation of the project, innovative technology will be analyzed with the aim of their possible implementation on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
One of the examples of breakthrough technology of using wind power is the invention of Spanish engineers from the design studio Vortex Bladeless.
Wind power turbines of continental type with the capacity of more than 7.5 MW and sea-based turbines with the capacity of more than 8 MW are currently in operation. All of them are industrial horizontal axis blade installations. Vertical axis blade wind turbines are also gaining popularity in the world, but their capacity is, as a rule, significantly inferior to horizontal axis installations.
The progress never stops and the Spanish engineers have developed a bladeless vertical wind generator that minimizes the impact on the environment and at the same time gives us such an invaluable and irreplaceable in the modern world resource – electricity.
The team of the design studio Vortex Bladeless hope that their invention will become breakthrough technology in the wind industry as their wind turbine is “a more efficient, cheap and environmentally friendly method of energy production”.
The wind generator Vortex is fundamentally different from the conventional design familiar to everyone, resembling a windmill – it has no rotating blades (it has no visible moving parts whatsoever), and outwardly it reminds a swaying giant baseball bat. The operational principle of the new device is based on the phenomenon of "Karman Vortex Street" – a phenomenon during which the formation of vortex arrays is observed during the flow of gas or liquid past cylindrical objects.
The company claims that the design of the wind turbine Vortex Bladeless allows to reduce production costs by 53%, reduces maintenance costs by 80% and reduces the carbon footprint (the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during the production of food, transportation, etc.) by 40% compared to bladed wind turbines. In addition, the designers claim that the new wind power turbine operates quieter than conventional turbines, and is much less of a threat to the birds and the entire environment.
Vortex assure that their vertical bladeless wind turbine can generate more power in smaller space, as its dimensions are smaller than those of the conventional wind turbines. In addition, the design allows placing the installations much closer to each other – an important factor for the design and construction of large wind farms.
Moreover, according to the results of the prototype testing in the wind tunnel, by placing two Vortex wind turbines opposite each other it turned out that the second installation gets even more energy because it uses the vortices formed by the first one.
The first model introduced by Vortex is called Mini. It is a wind turbine with the capacity of 4 kW and the height of 12.5 meters, intended for small wind farms and private households. The work on creating Gran – a model with the capacity of 1 MW or more that will be the basis for the creation of large wind farms – is in progress.
Vortex has already attracted more than 1 000 000 euros of private investment and the investment of large companies in Europe and plans to release a valid commercial prototype of its wind turbine within a year. The company's website says that for the implementation of the startup, a crowdfunding company was set up in July 2015, but there is no detailed information available, such as technical characteristics of the Vortex Bladeless wind turbine, its value, etc.
The management unit of the international technical project “Removing Barriers to Wind Power Development in Belarus” has been very interested in this development. It is possible that in framework of implementation of the project, a working visit to the company Vortex Bladeless will be organized in order to familiarize with this invention and to consider the possibility of implementing an innovative project on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.