Scientists have started to develop a new wind turbine that will be far less expensive to produce than existing turbine models. The new farms would take energy from the vibration being generated instead of the moving blades.
A new start-up business from Spain has developed the tall sticks which have been simply named Bladeless. These poles or sticks are set in the ground so they are can oscillate as a result of the wind that whips around them. The oscillation is a result of a phenomenon that architechts spend large amounts of time trying to design out of new buildings.
The sticks shake and the bladeless turbines use special magnets to ensure that the turbines are optimised to shake the most they can, whatever speed the wind is travelling at. When the poles vibrate, that motion is converted into electricity through an alternator.
The big attraction of this system is that it can make electricity at a rate that is about 40% cheaper than the current windmill models in use. Vortex suggests the single pole turbine will cost less to produce than existing blade turbines and also cost much less to maintain due to them having fewer moving parts.
The new design also has the benefit of being able to install more of these units into a smaller space, generate less noise and wind disturbance that quite often sets the NIMBYs off.
Vortex suggests that each pole generates about 30% less output than the typical 3 blade turbine, but the numbers look set to stack up to them generating an improved return on investment.
Vortex says that the 41-foot Mini model will be available in 2016, and a larger version will be unveiled in 2018.