Bladeless wind mill: more energy with less noise
Categorie(s): Sustainable Energy
When you always have thought that windmills need blades to produce energy, you can change your mind: engineers of Vortex Bladeless were inspired by the trembling the wind can cause in constructions, once even destroying a bridge. The result is an ‘energy asparagus’.
A wind turbine without blades is more efficient, less visual disturbing and saver for birds..The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and others, worrying about the impact of windmills for the landscape and nature, called this already good news for the birds, and for the possibility to produce wind energy in the cities.
The streamlined design has no moving parts, which makes it soundless and less sensitive to vibrations. Vortex Bladeless, the Spanish developer of the turbine, hopes this can lead to a viable market for consumers energy.
“Windturbines are too noisy for placing in your backyard.“, says David Suriol of Vortex bladeless. “We want to bring energy production to the houses of people, just like solar energy”.
Using the principles of natural frequencies and vorticity the turbine oscillates in turbulating air caused by the wind around the mast and builds up exponentially because it reflects the natural frequency of the structure. It is a powerful effect that became famous when it caused the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed because its own frequency was exactly the same as the winds’ frequency. The bridge was put into use in 1940 and collapsed in the same year
“The best conventional wind turbine reaches an efficiency of about 50% energy from the wind“, says Suriol. “We reach nearly 40% with the bladeless turbine in our wind tunnel lab.”
The turbine ‘floats’ on magnets, which means a significant magnifying of the oscillation and elimination of friction. Therefore no expensive oils and mechanical parts are needed. Even if the newest conventional turbines are producing ever more energy the efficiency of the bladeless will always be cheaper.
“We use less parts, which makes lower costs of production and operational costs – including maintenance and administration – will be half“, expects Suriol for a planned 150 meter high bladeless turbine with a producition comparable with the most common three bladed turbines on land.. “We estimate it 40% cheaper per conventionally produced megawatt.”
These ‘wind mills’ are save for birds and soundless, so they can be used in urban surroundings.