Spanish clean-tech startup Vortex Bladeless launched an Indiegogo campaign three days ago to crowdfund the prototype for a bladeless wind turbine, and they've already raised over $37,000.
As described on their Indiegogo page, Vortex turbines operate on the principle of "vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that occurs when wind breaks against a solid structure. The Vortex structure starts to oscillate, and captures the energy that is produced."
Beyond just designing a bladeless turbine and calling it a day, Vortex has also gone as far as getting rid of moving parts in contact entirely, instead using a series of magnets to capture the oscillations' energy. The result is a product that is much cheaper and easier to maintain than a modern air turbine, as well as silent and safer for the environment.
One of the main environmental hazards caused by modern wind turbines is the high death toll they cause in local bird populations. By removing the technology's massive propellers, the Vortex is much easier for migrating flights of birds to avoid.
Vortex turbines produce around 40% less energy than similarly sized wind generators, but are over 50% cheaper to construct and 80% cheaper to maintain, leading to more efficient energy generation. Their lack of blades also allows more Vortex models to be placed across a given plot of land than their competitors.
The first prototype, the Atlantis, is intended as a cheap source of power for developing countries. It will cost $250 to purchase, stand at 10 feet tall, and generate 100 watts of power.
Another model, the Mini, is being designed for commercial sale in Europe and the Americas. It is planned to stand at 42 feet, can generate 4 kilowatts of power (enough to generate half the power consumed by the average American home) and will be sold at a price of $5,000.
A final model, the Grand, will allegedly generate an entire megawatt of power (enough to power 400 American homes) and stand at 490 feet. Its price has yet to be determined.
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