Good Vibrations: Innovating Small-Scale Wind 'Turbines'
Humans have made practical use of the wind for aeons. But we are still coming up with new ways, such as the Spanish company Vortex Bladeless’ innovative technology that harnesses wind power for smaller-scale applications.
Discussions about wind energy usually deal with large-scale horizontal-axis three-bladed towered wind turbines (HAWTs). However, innovative, smaller-scale solutions are emerging that, despite their size, can prove invaluable in providing just the right solution for specific applications.
The Spanish company Vortex Bladeless S.L. boldly claims that its technology is helping reinvent wind power. And doubtlessly, they are onto something. Vortex Bladeless has won several innovation awards and is now backed by the Norwegian state energy company Equinor, plus partly funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation.
Perfect for urban applications
True to the company name, the Vortex Bladeless turbine doesn’t use the giant rotor blades of HAWTs. In fact, the first Nano prototypes are just 0.85 metres high. And they are not really turbines either. Maybe this makes you sceptical, but the bladeless wind turbines were never meant to compete with HAWTs.
David Yáñez, co-founder, president, and CTO, says: “After renewable energy has become an indisputable and competitive reality, the immediate future will be distributed and even decentralised energy.”
“Individuals or families will become major players in producing and marketing the energy generated on their roofs. We want our technology to help them cover their energy needs.”
With their vertical construction, bladeless wind turbines have a tiny footprint, and they are practically noiseless. It makes them an excellent fit for urban and residential areas. They are also no threat to birds.