How it Works
Vortex’s technology utilises a controllable vortex akin to a waterspout that will be created from a difference in temperature and water vapour. This is developed by introducing the waste-heat to the bottom of the vortex. This waste heat is in the form of heated water from a thermal power plant and acts as the energy source for the system. This energy source, when combined with a source of horizontal air circulation or swirl, creates a rotating, rising column of buoyant air that produces concentrated rotating winds at the ground, like a controlled tornado. By placing a wind-turbine at the base of the vortex, Vortex anticipates to be able to convert the wind from the vortex into power; capturing ~5% of the waste heat energy as electricity.
Waste hot water from the power plant, which would otherwise require direction to a cooling system will be sprayed as a fine mist on the base plate will create a ‘hot-fog’ of saturated heated air. The ‘hot fog’, which is lighter than the surrounding air rises and generates a pressure drop. The pressure drop pulls in the air around it at the ground, similar to a tall chimney. The air pulled in by the core is made to pass through foils (similar to yacht sails) set in the ground in a circular pattern. These sails direct the air being sucked in into a circular pattern and thus create the ‘swirl’ that is needed to create a stable vortex.
The high wind speeds that are created in the vortex are expected to be used to spin a small, high-speed turbine placed in the centre of the vortex to generate electricity. The vortex created is anticipated to be stable since the source of swirl will continue to exist as long as waste hot-water is pumped in resulting in the ability to will generate power continuously.
Low-level waste heat from power generation
Heated water sprayed into system
Initial rotation of turbine
Rising heat and rotation of air draws in air at an angle
Creation of self-sustaining vortex
Vortex drives power generation turbine at base
Additional 7.5% electricity generation
Remove heated water to halt operation