Wind energy without blades - Năng lượng gió không dùng cánh.
-It will need less material, allowing us to provide electricity to more people at a lower cost while leaving a smaller environmental footprint. It won’t kill birds and it won’t make noise. Stop imagining - here comes Vortex!
With this campaign, we want to raise awareness of the technology, gain your support and show that the world is ready to go “green” fast. What we need is a critical mass of people to get past the tipping point.
Access to clean energy is a basic need, yet it seems to be a luxury that only few can afford. The technology that can change the game is already here - cheap, clean and economically viable. We have developed that technology at Vortex.
We want to get 5,000 crowdfunding backers to change the world, so we need you to join us! With your support we will reach our fundraising goal ($50,000) and will be able to create the commercial pilot for our first product, Vortex Atlantis (100 W).
As our stretch goal, we want to achieve 5000 backers. We estimate that it would put us at about $150,000 - enough funding to set up a pilot study in India.
We are currently negotiating potential locations and conditions for this project. Here we will be able to get data on the performance of Vortex in a variety of conditions. Learn, how people are using it, and what they may wish to improve
To make the campaign more accessible, specially for remote places that need our technology, we are launching a new “Support the Cause” perk. It is only $5, and we will put your name on the Vortex we install for the India pilot.
Please, check out the great perks* we have prepared to express our gratitude, and join Vortex revolution by supporting us. The future of Vortex depends on you and your support.
Here are some of the great perks, to see the full range, please scroll to the bottom.
*We’ve received a lot of questions about why we are not pre-selling our product. The short answer is, we are not ready to deliver the product at the high quality that we know we can produce it. We will get there by going diligently through design iteration and delivering the value that our supporters deserve.
As we have been preparing for the crowdfunding campaign, something amazing happened. Our technology caught the attention of the media, and went viral. Over a course of a couple of weeks we were published in, probably, most of the major media world-wide and started receiving hundreds of emails every day. Thank you for your interest!
What is Vortex? Vortex is a wind generator without blades. Instead of capturing energy via the rotational motion of a turbine, the Vortex takes advantage of what’s known as vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that occurs when wind breaks against a solid structure (Kármán vortex street). The Vortex structure starts to oscillate, and captures the energy that is produced.
Vortex doesn’t just eliminate the blades. We have deliberately designed it to have no parts in contact at all (no gears, linkages, etc). This way we can make Vortex cheap and easy to maintain.
Basically, we reduce the amount of raw materials used for manufacturing, which cuts the production costs and time to produce the equipment. Further, having no moving parts in contact means that there are really very few things that can break, which extends time between maintenance intervals and allows to have less down time. As a result, maintaining costs are low.
Finally, Vortex is silent, since itoscillates at a frequency that doesn’t produce audible noise (it is below 20 Hz) . It is also safer for birds that often suffer from collision with blades.
What are the benefits?
One of the main advantages of VORTEX is its dramatic low cost - it will produce energy at a 40% lower cost than a comparable wind installation. The normalized cost of energy generation ( LCOE ) for a typical onshore facility will be $ 0.035 / kWh (about 35 Euros / MWh ), including capital costs, operation and maintenance, performance, land leases, insurance and other administrative expenses.
This will put the technology at the very low range of capital intensity for such projects, it also will make it highly competitive not only against generations of alternative or renewable energy, but even compared to conventional technologies, as shown in the graph.
Breakdown of the cost savings
Cost reduction stems from reduced manufacturing costs: Vortex integrates the tower and generator into one structure, requiring less moving parts and less material to produce the same amount of electricity. Is also eliminates the nacelle, the support mechanisms and the blades that are the priciest components in a conventional wind generator. Manufacturing savings are roughly estimated at around 53 % of the usual wind turbine production cost. The manufacturing, transportation, construction and assembly will be also simplified and are typical for the wind industry.
The design completely eliminates mechanical elements that can suffer wear and tear from friction, leading to an estimated 80 % reduction in maintenance costs. We achieve this because there’s no need to change any mechanical parts or add oil to the structure during it’s life cycle.
Of course, it won’t be immune to fatigue. The wind can cause twisting and displacement of the structure, primarily in the elastic rod, especially in the lower section that has to withstand greater forces. However, studies carried out by the company confirm that, the stress on the rod is far from the working limit of the materials, i.e. carbon fiber. Computational modeling estimates operational lifetime of the installation to be between 32 and 96 years .
There is another differentiating factor is that it’s very easy to assemble and maintain, because the alternator (and the center of gravity) is close to the ground. This also means, we need less foundation.
The radius of oscillation is equal to the diameter of the installation at its top end (also its widest part). Vortex needs to be higher to sweep the same area. It can capture about 40% of the wind power contained in the air, the theoretical maximum you can achieve is 59% (the Betz’s law).
We can put more Vortex in the same area at a lower cost and produce more electricity. The cost and density of installation compensates for a lower efficiency of energy conversion (30% less).
Vortex Products Within the next 12 months we will have the first products for small-scale and residential use. The 100 W and 4 kW Vortex’ work for private homes in developing countries, or small constructions like radio antennas. It can also work both connected to the grid or off-grid. Moreover, this Vortex would work perfectly in combination with solar panels. The final step is to build our dream 1 MW Vortex by 2018.
How does Vortex work?
Vortex is a fairly simple structure with 5 main parts: foundation, rod, generation system, tuning system, mast.
The Origin of Vortex Bladeless
One day, David Yáñez questioned the way the wind energy is generated. He found another promising way to generate energy from wind. The idea was born.
Months later, David shared his idea with his business partner Raúl Martín, and he became the first person to believe in the idea. The dream was born.
But the dream team wasn’t complete. This happened when David Suriol joined the team. There was, probably, a 3% chance of success, but we believed in it and went to work! The project was born.
It all started back in 2002, when David first saw a video of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge swaying and oscillating in wind. The structure got caught up in aeroelastic coupling and collapsed under influence of the wind. This disaster is still a topic among engineers and scientists discussing the aeroelastic flutter and continues to motivate their research.
In 2011, we started working on the idea more seriously, and went for a very memorable meeting with an engineering firm in Spain to discuss the idea. Result? They told us - it would never oscillate! Luckily, instead of giving up, we built a wind tunnel and determined to demonstrate that it worked.
In 2012, Vortex got a substantial grant to develop the technology, and we never looked back. Today we have finalized wind tunnel tests, the deep R&D is done, and we have a working prototype!
In 2014, we started the first field test in Gotarrendura (Avila, Spain). We are continuously improving our prototype based on the data we collected from the field test. We are very close to finalizing a commercial pilot and we need your help to get us there.
Today, we have a multiple patents of our technology. In April 2015 Vortex has relocated to Boston to take advantage of the nourishing cleantech innovation ecosystem. We have formed an American Advisory Board with representatives from Harvard University (Chan School of Public Health), IDEO, TerraForm Power (SunEdison Group) and Dat Venture.
How do we know it is our time?
How many times we have asked ourselves this question… We know that with Vortex we felt our time has come to change the world. Today, many people are working on this ambitious project, and bringing us closer to our goal every day. Investors, institutions, ecologist groups, engineers, student, homeowners… With Vortex, we all feel that the right time has come.
Join us in this adventure, we need you!
Thank you very much,
David, Raul and David
David Yañez. Engineer and the Vortex’s inventor and developer
Raul Martin. Engineer. Looking for the perfection.
David Suriol. Entrepeneur, journalist, passionate. In contact to the world.
Harvard T.H School of Public Health, Director of Corporate Outreach and Strategy, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard School of Public Health
IDEO, Sr. Portfolio Director and an Associate Partner at IDEO. José has been with IDEO since 2000.
Sunedison/ Power Terraform, Managing Director for Europe & Latam. Responsible for originating and executing renewable energy investments globally.
Dat Venture, Founder of Dat Venture, an accelerator program that connects international startups with Boston startup resources. Visiting Researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health, where he collaborates on Open Innovation initiatives.
Vortex Water Bottle
Indoor Skydiving and lunch with Founders
Support the Cause
Q&A What is your swept area?
Our working area is a circular area around the tipping point of the equipment. People often confuse the swept areas of Vortex and that of a HAWT, but keep in mind that our equipment relies on oscillation, not on the rotation of the blades, so our swept area has a different shape – it’s a triangle rather than a circle.
We need to be much higher to have the same swept area, in fact, it is almost twice as high. Though, keep in mind that the normalized cost of energy (LCOE) of the same swept are will be 40% less expensive.
To scale the equipment, you need to increase the height. The swept area increases in a linear relationship with the square of its height (the same as for HAWT)
What is your oscillation range?
Radius of oscillation equals the diameter of Vortex at its top end.
At what wind speeds do you work?
We started our field prototype in Gotarrendura, Avila, Spain since summer 2014. The average wind speed range in that location is 1-9 m/s. We are continuously improving the design of the prototype to adapt it to the new challenges we are facing. Our goal is to work at the wind speeds over 20m/s. We will achieve that with a syncing system to maximize the oscillation to adjust to the wind speed.
How do you adjust to turbulent wind?
To operate in unstable wind, we have designed a synching system that dynamically modifies the frequency of natural resonance of the structure. Small-scale Vortex usually works in a more turbulent environments, but that is offset by the fact that they can adapt more rapidly as well.
Is it really silent?
No part of Vortex is oscillating at a frequency audible to humans ( > 20Hz ). Naturally, the sound is strongly dependent on the speed. The maximum speed at which our mast moves is very low compared with the speed of a blade tip for HAWT. A well-designed and well-built carbon fiber structure does not creak. The wind tunnel models and field models tested to date emit 0 dB. To give you a range, at 8 m/s, the 13 m structure oscillates at 2 Hz. At 16 m/s wind – at 4 Hz.
What is the density that you can install in a territory?
We say it’s twice that of the wind turbines for the same space, but this is an approximation. So the real number will emerge once we have more field tests. Here, it is important to clarify that this depends on a specific geographic area. When we “play” in the wind tunnel putting two, three or four Vortex really close to one another, look like the vortices from the first help the second, and the third…
Who are the founders?
We are founders, entrepreneurs, inventors, passionate of what we are doing. We have experience in many fields… We have been working with Vortex since 2011, and the big question always have been: What happens if it doesn’t work? We would shut it down. But the project works. When you develop a technology there are many milestones. The first one is the worldwide patent system, and we are really happy that we have several patents pending, because it means we are innovating and it’s working, It’s not a stupid invention