Vortex Engine Proposed as a Green Energy Source and Funded by Paypal Co-Founder
by Brandy Cross
The atmospheric vortex engine is a renewable energy source (or ‘green energy’ source) that is essentially a tornado powered generator. The idea was created by Louis Michaud in early 2000, and has since been criticized for being ‘unworkable’, until proved that it could by a prototype built by Michaud and a colleague Tom Fletcher. Now, the vortex engine has been given a chance by Paypal Co-founder Peter Thiel with a $300,000 research grant.
What Is an Atmospheric Vortex Engine and How Does it Work?
The atmospheric vortex engine is quite simply a tornado generator. Using humid air pushed into a circular base, the vortex engine creates a tornado and uses the heat and wind generated power to collect energy. Most importantly, the tornado generator could be powered solely on either solar heat sources, or on about 20% of the waste heat given off at any given moment by a single traditional power plant. Energy is collected via wind turbines placed at ground level, and the vortex essentially works in the same way as a solar chimney, except without the physical chimney.
Michaud’s 13 foot demo version of the tornado generator actually uses propane heat for convenience reasons, but there is no reason why the fully working version could not use a green heat source to get the tornado moving.
Cost Effective Renewable Energy Source
An atmospheric vortex engine or simply vortex engine is an alternate energy source that if utilized correctly could provide the same amount of energy as a full coal energy plant without the use of fossil fuel resources, or the huge production of smog and pollutants. Experts suggest that a plant would be able to sufficiently produce energy at a cost effective rate of 3 cents per kilowatt.
The full sized vortex engine generator would be about 328 feet in diameter, cost $200 million to build, and would generate about 300 megawatts, or about the same amount as a large coal powered plant. In fact, the total average of power from coal power plants for 2011 is actually about 271.1 MW, which puts the much smaller, much more eco-friendly tornado generator as much more effective, especially considering the resources used.
Will it Work?
The idea of using a tornado generator as a power source is indeed a great way to reduce global warming and air pollution. A vortex energy generator is a completely green and renewable energy source, especially considering that it won’t require the use of large amounts of fossil fuels, or pollutants to provide the energy.
But simply looking at the stats shows that the tornado power plant will have another benefit as well, cost effectiveness. While it will require a large investment to initially create, the vortex energy generator will cost less per kilowatt than almost any other power source. Solar power when constructed well can cost as little as 2 cents per kilowatt, but standard power sources such as gas, coal, and nueclear actually cost between 4 and 11.5 cents per kilowatt. Other renewable energy sources stand at Solar averaging between 15 and 2 cents per kilowatt, wind generated averaging between 4 and 6 cents per kilowatt, geothermal between 4.5 and 30, and hydro power averaging between 5.3 and 11 cents per kilowatt. While all of these rates are expected to drop as green energy sources are created more cheaply, the 3 cents per kilowatt rate for a prototype vortex engine generator is a very good rate.
What do you think? Is a tornado a great way to produce energy? The tornado energy generator known as the atmospheric vortex engine uses controlled wind speeds, man-made tornados, and most likely waste heat usually vented into the atmosphere or the water. The benefits could include cheaper power, lower energy consumption, and a slower rate of pollution without the hazards that could come from other energy sources such as nuclear.