Sunday, September 5, 2010

Artificial Tornado

Artificial tornado plan to generate electricity

Block of vortex electricity generating plant

Most of us know that tornadoes are unpredictable, uncontrollable, and dangerous. But a Canadian engineer thinks they could be the future of electricity generation. He wants to make electricity from artificial tornadoes.

Louis Michaud, a retired petroleum engineer in Sarnia, Ontario, plans to use the waste heat from conventional power plants to create an "atmospheric vortex engine" - a small, controlled tornado that would drive turbines and generate electricity. "I'm confident that we could control these things," he says. Michaud also thinks solar powered tornados generated using the sun's heat could also work.

The design is very simple. , we need not much of environment heat, moisture and the initial swirl of mass of damp air. A cup-shaped vessel is filled with usual water. At the starting stage of operation, motor-generator starts to swirl a water-air cone by means of turbine with helical blades. When the device starts operating in tornado regime, then heat is absorbed from the ambient air. At that, motion of rarefied air accelerates along the center of vortex and this airflow starts pressing upon turbine blades.

His latest design is a circular wall 200 meters across and 100 meters high without a roof. Air carrying the waste heat would be blown in from vents on the sides, spinning around the walls into a vortex that becomes just like a real tornado. Once started, the vortex would draw in more hot air from vents in the wall, pulling it past turbines and generating electricity.

Michaud calculates that a vortex engine of this size would create a tornado about 50 meters in diameter and generate between 50 and 500 MW of electricity.

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