Wind farms certainly allow for the production of clean energy. Although they are 100% renewable, they still have problems. They have high costs, disfigure the landscape, produce noise pollution, and above all, have a heavy impact on fauna, and in particular on birds.
The Spanish startup Vortex Bladeless has developed a bladeless turbine that can revolutionize wind energy, especially at the household level, and become the alternative to solar panels. The design of the Spanish firm has already received the approval of Norway’s state energy company, Equinor.
The new turbine, which has also been called the “Skybrator” due to its phallic shape, is capable of harnessing energy from winds without the sweeping white blades everyone associates with wind power. It generates wind energy thanks to vibration and without generating the environmental and visual impact on the fauna of the large wind farms.
About 3 meters high, it is basically a curve-topped cylinder fixed vertically with an elastic rod, specially designed to withstand both bending and stress. To the viewer, the turbine appears to waggle back and forth. However, it is designed to oscillate within the wind range and generate electricity from the vibration.
Currently, the turbine is small and would generate small amounts of electricity. But the company is looking for an industrial partner to scale up its plans to a 140-meter turbine with a power capacity of 1 megawatt.
More discreet than a traditional wind turbine, “Skybrator” could be installed inside urban centers because it needs little space – in residential areas, for example, or in private homes. The absence of gears or moving parts would also make its maintenance simpler and therefore more economical. Above all, it doesn’t pose the same dangers as conventional wind turbines, which kill birds and wildlife and threaten bird migration patterns. Also, the turbine would create noise at a frequency virtually undetectable to humans.
The six-person startup Vortex Bladeless has published its own study on the new energy-generating design. Its proof-of-concept has yet to appear in a peer-reviewed journal, although it is currently receiving funding from the European Union, and a Norwegian state energy company.
In the meantime, many other alternative wind turbine projects are developing. The Alpha 311 company has created another vertical, bladeless turbine that vibrates as cars pass by. There are also wind turbines that take 15 minutes to set up.