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Atmospheric Vortex Engine Could Power Cities with Tornados

A new clean energy concept, the Atmospheric Vortex Engine (AVE), will be built out into a bigger prototype for further testing and analysis, thanks to some Silicon Valley funding.

With the receipt of a new grant from The Thiel Foundation, AVEtec will work toward building an 8 meter diameter prototype of their unique energy device at Lambton College in Ontario, which will spin a 1 meter diameter turbine.

The AVE works by using low temperature waste heat to create a tornado-like vortex that acts as a virtual chimney, and the technology could be used to spin turbines for electricity. Other applications include industrial cooling towers that could be built for 25% of the cost of current models.

When warm or humid air is introduced into a circular station in the AVE, it takes the form of a rising vortex, with the temperature difference between the heated air and the atmosphere above it supporting the vortex and potentially driving multiple turbines.

“The real prize will be using a large scale AVE to drive turbines. Using the low temperature waste heat from a 500MW thermal power plant could generate an additional 200MW of power, increasing capacity by 40% and producing perfectly green electricity at less than three cents per kilowatt hour.” – Louis Michaud, inventor of the Atmospheric Vortex Engine

A previous 4 meter diameter version of the device was built and tested in 2009 in Petrolia Ontario, and this next model will help the company prepare for their 40 meter version sometime in 2015. According to Michaud, “power output increases geometrically with
size”, and their eventual 40 meter prototype should be economically viable.

For more info, see the Vortex Engine at AVEtech’s website.

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