Are Bladeless Turbines the Future of Wind Energy?

Written by on October 4, 2015 in Eco-Friendly, Environment with 25 Comments

Sami Grover | Mother Nature Network

A mock-up of Vortex bladeless turbines in a field. (Photo: Vortex Bladeless)

A mock-up of Vortex bladeless turbines in a field. (Photo: Vortex Bladeless)

When I wrote about bigger, better wind turbines that could spell trouble for coal, one commenter admonished me for not thinking about the birds:

“Bladed turbines kill kill kill birds, eagles and other raptors as well as small birds. They are the worst thing this country could do… ESPECIALLY when there are two kinds of blade less turbines available. The vibrational tower and the other one from the Dutch.”

Bird deaths overstated

While it’s true that there have been concerns about wind turbines killing birds and bats, better siting away from migration routes and prime raptor habitat, combined with improved designs that do not provide roosting spots for raptors, mean that many experts no longer see the issue as an either-or dichotomy between fighting climate change and protecting birds. Indeed, leading U.K. bird charity The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) was so confident that wind energy and birds can coexist that it has erected a 100-meter high wind turbine at its headquarters, and is partnering with clean energy companies to sell renewable energy to its customers.

Related Article: There’s Enough Wind to Power Global Energy Demand, New Research Says


Innovation continues

Still, we’d be silly to assume that the current three-blade spinning turbine design is the pinnacle of achievement when it comes to wind energy. And the aforementioned commenter is right to suggest that researchers and entrepreneurs across the world are working on bladeless and otherwise bird-safe turbine designs. It’s a pretty big stretch to suggest that these turbines are currently ready for prime time, making conventional turbines unnecessary, but advocates suggest these alternatives may offer significant improvements over their current, spinning wheel counterparts.

Spanish company Vortex Bladeless is one of the companies that has been making headlines with its bladeless, gearless, bearingless vertical wind turbine that its founders claim will, in addition to protecting birds and bats, significantly reduce the manufacturing and maintenance costs associated with conventional wind power (by 53 percent and 51 percent respectively).

According to the MIT Technology Review, the company has already raised over $1 million in investor capital, and it also recently undertook a successful crowdfunding campaign to create a commercial pilot for its first product: A small scale bladeless turbine designed for use in developing countries.

Related Article: Wind Power on the Rise, Could Supply One-Third of Nation’s Electricity by 2050

A new form of wind power

The company has generated a lot of interest in its concepts, thanks in part to coverage in publications like Wired. The buzz is due to the fact that Vortex Bladeless is designed to harness wind energy in an entirely different way to traditional turbines. Instead of using blades to capture the wind’s energy through a spinning motion, the Vortex uses what’s known as vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that happens when a fluid meets a solid structure —producing a pattern of spinning vortices. (The famed collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was an example of vorticity, and was actually the inspiration behind The Vortex.)

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Tags: , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

25 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. 314302492103378@facebook.com' Lessons Taught By Life says:

    Just because they didn’t say “Sorry”, doesn’t mean you can’t forgive them. <3

  2. 1467558050240056@facebook.com' Sunny Nonyas says:

    With a sky full of chemtrails….. Odd

  3. 10153535456327349@facebook.com' Marcos Rissi says:

    What s this crasy Chemtrial on the Sky? :-/

  4. 10206865404345288@facebook.com' Susan Denison says:

    And so why would you all post a pic with all the chemtrails? Curious?

  5. 1068483829842891@facebook.com' Nathan Dunning says:

    Eww! A sky full of fricken Chemtrails! Are they truely trying to kill us all??

  6. 10205085435602855@facebook.com' Kathleen Lavender says:

    chemtrail city…wtf!

  7. 10206206254488177@facebook.com' Johannes Madsen says:

    Chemtrails xP

  8. 10153656970803593@facebook.com' Jackie Lally says:

    Wind energy cannot be used on the grid without backup from fossil fuel plants. Here in Ireland more fossil fuel plants are planned to back up all the new turbines they’re going to build. Can’t see how that will change with new turbine design and what about human health? The right questions are not bring asked.

  9. 1646259668986620@facebook.com' Peggy Carlson says:

    Only if their longevity is better and less costly than the ones we have now

  10. 1484314598537972@facebook.com' CL Hanson says:

    Nice chemtrails in the sky lol

  11. 10206654052223600@facebook.com' David LeDuc says:

    Perfect Chemtrails… Of course I’m just seeing things!!!

  12. 1044009685609764@facebook.com' Christina Rodriguez says:

    I thought this was an article on chemtrails at first. Look at all the chemtrails in the sky in this pic

  13. 1698045887092603@facebook.com' Rainon Knowles says:

    Haha holy shit all that shit falling from the sky

  14. 1644586239113678@facebook.com' Leo Cooper says:

    youre pulling my leg, this a joke, don’t the chem-trails in this snap rate a mention ? What you report is good news indeed, but the Geo-engineering issue is even greater, it impacting directly in a negative way upon human health not to mention damaging to the environment generally, acidifying soil and the already acidifying oceans. Is this a joke ?

  15. 910550339014808@facebook.com' John Mcleod says:

    Perfectly natural cloud formations, move on, nothing to see here…

  16. 10204967193724972@facebook.com' Steve Parker says:

    Mean while royals etc still blast birds at will? Strange old world that allows people to kill for fun yet spends millions looking at ways to avoid bird deaths from a power source needed by humans.

  17. 10207905786821985@facebook.com' Monty Rizzo says:

    lulz at the sky.

  18. 1503384453309432@facebook.com' Col Nolan says:

    Chemtrails all over the shop!!!

  19. 150990275249676@facebook.com' Susan Home says:

    Nice chemtrail pic.

    • 150990275249676@facebook.com' Susan Home says:

      Interesting that all comments but one are spot on the chemtrail issue! ARE we a marginalized ‘conspiracy’ like we’re told?

  20. gearjammer387@gmail.com' lin day says:

    those trails in the picture are toxic geo-engineering, climate engineering, done by jets. they are not harmless ice crystals as mainstream media wants us to believe. programs like SRM solar radiation management and SAG stratospheric aerosol geo-engineering and CDR carbon dioxide removal are attempting to modify our climate and control our weather. they are doing a pretty poor job of it, and spraying us with nano aluminum particulates to reflect the sun. why do you think bats, bees, birds and other delicate forms of life are disappearing at an alarming rate? weather modification/manipulation programs must be stopped, if it’s not already to late.

  21. 1076840522340232@facebook.com' Megat Sharifudin says:

    Awesome

  22. 10204837006548491@facebook.com' Matthew Chapin says:

    Oxymoron?

  23. 10207710949071675@facebook.com' Joseph Bottari says:

    Why is my focus drawn to the chem trails in the background more so than the turbines you speak of?

  24. linda4light@gmail.com' Linda says:

    Wow, the impact of your message is lost with all the Chemtrails, , geo-engineering, whatever the current politically correct definition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to a friend