Vortex Bladeless was founded by Spanish engineers in 2010, they were inspired by the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster (1940). They design a new wind turbine prototype without blades, the turbine is just a hollow straw that sticks up 12 meters from the ground and vibrates when the wind thrums by. They say about it: “The Vortex takes advantage of what’s known as vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that produces a pattern of spinning vortices… At the base of the cone are two rings of repelling magnets, which act as a sort of nonelectrical motor. When the cone oscillates one way, the repelling magnets pull it in the other direction, like a slight nudge to boost the mast’s movement regardless of wind speed. This kinetic energy is then converted into electricity via an alternator that multiplies the frequency of the mast’s oscillation to improve the energy-gathering efficiency.”

The result is a turbine that’s 50 percent less expensive than a bladed one, 30 percent less efficient at capturing energy, but wind farms can double the number of turbines that occupy a given area if they go bladeless. The turbine has no gears or moving parts, theoretically maintenance could be much easier than a traditional spinning one.

They will launching a crowdfunding campaign on June 1st, 2015.

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(via wired)

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