Today there are a number of wind turbines placed around the US and around the world. These turbines all have some sort of blades that spin like an airplane’s propeller to create electricity without having to burn coal. The turbines are so common that many people no longer even notice them as they go about their daily lives. A big change may be coming to the design of wind turbines of the future and the future may have no blades.
The company pushing this new bladeless future for wind turbines is from Spain and is called Vortex Bladeless. The towers the company has designed look almost like a blade from a traditional wind turbine broke off and ended up stuck in the dirt. Like normal wind turbines, the point of the vortex turbine is to turn kinetic energy of created by the wind into electricity.
While a traditional wind turbine uses the spinning of the propeller to create energy, the Vortex turbines will use an aerodynamic effect known as voracity. That aerodynamic effect creates a pattern of spinning vortices. The Vortex turbine is designed in a manner that creates vortices synchronously along the entire length of the mast. The current prototype has a composite of fiberglass and carbon fiber that allows the mast to vibrate as much as possible.
At the base of the mast are two rings of repelling magnets that act as a non-electrical motor. When the cone oscillates, the magnets boost the mast’s wind speed and the kinetic energy is turned into electricity. The design is able to capture up to 40% of the wind’s energy in ideal conditions with winds around 26mph. With no spinning blades, you can put about twice as many Vortex turbines into the same space as conventional turbines to offset the 30% less energy created by the Vortex turbine compared to a traditional turbine.