Bladeless wind turbines

Vortex Bladeless has developed a new kind of wind power turbine which unlike traditional designs features no rotor blades.

The Spanish company was started in 2010 by David Suriol, David Yáñez, and Raul Martín. Their aim was to create a wind turbine that would generate energy not through blades, but through an aerodynamic process called vorticity.

Vorticity creates vortices, swirling wind currents, which in turn cause structures to oscillate, sometimes to a dangerous degree. The Vortex Bladeless team has found a way to channel these vortices to create oscillation within the tower itself, in order to generate kinetic energy. This is then converted into electric energy through an alternator in the base of the structure.

Because there are no moving parts in the design, the wind turbines require no lubrication, avoiding the issues of fatigue and wear. This, Vortex claim, will reduce maintenance costs by as much as 80% over traditional turbines.

Vortex Bladeless also believes its bladeless wind turbines will be 40% cheaper than bladed wind energy towers. Although, their wind turbines capture around 30% less energy than tradition designs. However, this may be offset by erecting more bladeless turbines into the same space.

A 41ft 4kW turbine, known as the Mini, will become commercially available in 2016, with a larger design, dubbed the Gran, being designed for the future and intended to produce 1MW.