Monday, July 13, 2015

Waving Wind Sticks Can Replace Windmills

Sticks planted in the ground get moved by the wind where the movement is captured and converted to electricity. Image Credit: Vortex Bladeless (2015)

Waving Wind Sticks Can Replace Windmills

There is a new wind energy capture technology in town and it deserves a serious look. The form factor is a stick that is effected by the wind as was the Tacoma Bridge on November 7, 1940.

Most people are familiar with a technology that was popularized by the Dutch in recent centuries which was used to move water from or around land and perform many labor tasks in their culture ... and has become the iconic symbol of all things Dutch - the Windmill. Of the 10,000 windmills in use in the Netherlands around 1850, about 1000 are still standing.

The total number of wind-powered mills in Europe is estimated to have been around 200,000 at its peak, which is modest compared to some 500,000 waterwheels. Image Credit:

Capturing the power of the wind through blades and transferring the motion created through a bar shaft to pump mechanisms, generators, or grinders, that once required human effort, to have the benefit of function.

Growing interest in alternative energy sources has made the three-pronged metal and composite wind turbines planted across open, wind-driven landscapes, a familiar sight.

Electric power windmills have been a feature in the Palm Springs entrance to Coachella Valley for at least 20 years. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

There is a company in Spain that wishes to have this display become less noisy, labor intensive, and cluttered through grabbing the wind energy through vibration or oscillation of a single stick.

This excerpted and edited from Quartz -

HOWLIN' - This wind turbine generates power without blades
By Zach Wener-Fligner for Quartz - May 19, 2015

Thanks to a Spanish energy startup known as Vortex Bladeless, there’s a new type of turbine with a rather different look.

With the potential to be cheaper and more reliable. Vortex’s generator resembles a giant straw in the ground and harnesses wind energy without the need for rotating windmill blades. It’s designed to vibrate in the wind as much as possible, like a guitar string; those vibrations are then converted into stored energy.

According to the company’s website, the Vortex turbines are 53% cheaper to manufacture and 51% cheaper to operate than traditional wind turbines. This is in part due to their lack of moving parts—there just aren’t that many components to break. Their current model, the 41-foot Vortex Mini tube, captures around 30% less energy than a traditional wind turbine, but can also be packed more densely into a given space.

The company has raised about $1 million from the Spanish government and private investors, according to Wired; it says it will begin raising more money via crowdfunding on June 1.
[Reference Here]

Windmills and solar panel farms are popping up everywhere creating an aesthetic eyesore, backed through the infusion of public monies. It is time to consider a cheaper, quieter, and more artful way to capture alternative (to petroleum) energy to fuel our lives.

Most like the concept of converting the lessons learned through the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster to achieve artful display landscapes, here on this Oblate Spheroid, that deliver on the promise of a better way to convert wind to energy for the good of all.

TAGS: windmills, solar panels, Tacoma Bridge, oscillation, wind stick, Vortex Bladeless, turbines, electricity, power generation, Oblate Spheroid, crowd-funding,

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