- Category: Technology
19 Dec 2012
- Published on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 09:38
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A novel technology to generate clean power from man-made “tornados” gets $300,000 in start-up funding from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel through his Breakout Labs program.
The Atmosphere Vortex Engine, developed by Canadian electrical engineer and entrepreneur Louis Michaud, harnessed the physics of tornados to generate renewable energy at a significantly low-cost.
It works by using a fan to blow some of the excess heat produced by conventional power plants into a cylindrical hollow tower at an angle. This creates a circular air current that grows stronger as it goes higher, explained Mr. Michaud.
The higher the current moves, the more energy it generates due to differences in temperature. This results into a controlled man-made tornado. Turbines will then be installed at the bottom of the vortex to create electricity.
The A.V.E. can create power without releasing carbon emissions and does not require energy storage. Additionally, the cost of energy that A.V.E. produces could be as low as $3 cents per kilowatt hour, making it one of the cheapest forms of energy production.
Mr. Michaund has been working on this device for several decades, with his company building and successfully testing a small prototype in 2009.
With a diameter of 100 meters, an average A.V.E. power station could generate up to 200 megawatts of electricity, which is the same capacity of a conventional coal power station.
The next prototype A. V. E. – with a tower about 131 feet tall and 26-feet in diameter – is set to be built and tested at Lambton College in Ontario. – EcoSeed Staff