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New Whirlwind-Attracting Bladeless Micro Wind Turbine
The startup Vortex Bladeless is developing a — you guessed it — bladeless micro wind turbine shaped like a super-long popsicle stick only rounder, like an ice cream cone without any ice cream. From a distance it looks like a pole stuck in the ground, so at first glance you might thing that there isn’t anything there.
However, the technology does generate electricity, and it has attracted interest from Harvard University as well as SunEdison’s TerraForm Power renewable energy unit and Dat Venture, a startup incubator recently launched by the IT consulting firm Efron Group, so you’re probably going to start hearing more about Vortex Bladeless sooner rather than later.
The Vortex Bladeless Micro Wind Turbine
Vortex Bladeless relies on an aerodynamic phenomenon called vorticity, in which wind flowing around a structure creates a pattern of small vortices or whirlwinds. No problema as long as they are relatively small.
The parallel effect in fluid dynamics is called the Kármán vortex street (or sheet) effect, referring to the pattern of eddies that forms when a fluid goes around a body or structure.
Translated into aerodynamics, once the mini-whirlwinds get large enough, they can cause a structure to oscillate, and if you could capture the mechanical energy of that movement, there’s your electricity.
Vorticity can be incredibly powerful, and you can get a dramatic example from the notorious Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which was hit by strong winds and began wriggling like a rubber band before collapsing into the Tacoma Narrows, just a few months after it opened back in 1940:
read more original article Cleantechca
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