Recycling waste heat to generate power
Very few of us know that Nature holds enough resources to generate power from—including the sun, wind, warm air from the ground and lots of other natural elements we take for granted. The most interesting is the tower resemblant to a solar tower, in which a controlled tornado is created. This is not just another concept. Engineer Luis Michaud, from Canada, who has proposed this system, has already built one in Utah, along with his partners.
The Background :
The fact that the vortex engine generates a tornado inside the hollow tube lends itself to being modified to incorporate some of the vortex concepts that were initiated by Dr. Viktor Schauberger. The hollow tube could enclose a giant bladed or bladeless vertical-axis turbine with its axis placed at the center of the tube. The largest proposal for such a turbine originated in Russia and involved placing blades on carriages that rode on a circular track.
The system consists of a 50-ft high hollow tube by 100-ft diameter in which they have already generated swirling masses or air or vortices. A solar skirt, of approximately the same diameter as the ~350-meter solar tower built in Spain several years ago, heats the air, which rises into the chimney, turning turbines at the base of the tower.
How it works :
The operation of these engines may be sustained by solar thermal energy, by geothermal heat pumped from deep in the earth, by the exhaust heat from thermal power stations or by heat rejected by large nearby commercial refrigeration and air conditioning systems. The latter forms of heat may be carried to the solar air engines through insulated water pipes.
Michaud Endeavors :
Michaud has proposed to build his vortex engine to a diameter of 1300-feet and to a height of 330-feet (400-meters x 100-meters), even though that height could be increased to over 1000-feet. The angle between the air intakes and the tangent of the hollow tube would cause incoming air to swirl into a vortex as it enters the base of the engine. This is the basis by which Michaud’s vortex engine would operate.
While Michaud has proposed to place conventional axial-flow wind turbines in the air intakes, the vortex engine is a versatile concept that can allow for the installation of other designs of turbines. A circular array of vertical-axis turbines could be installed at the air intakes with the generating equipment being mounted overhead and outside the circumference of the tube.
The Experiment Continues :
Michaud is conducting further tests using a 13-ft high scale model. Research suggests that hollow tubes and towers that are made from concrete could be built to a maximum height of 1500-feet. A solar tower concept from Greece proposes to use a floating chimney that is lighter than air to increase the height of the hollow tube to 5000-feet so as to maximize efficiency.
The heat that will drive the engine could be applied upstream of the air intakes, at the center of the hollow tube or on the inner wall of the hollow tube. Insulated water pipes may carry the heat to the appropriate location. That heat would cause the swirling air mass air to accelerate inside the tube and propel it upward to an elevation of several thousand feet.