A New Twister On Green Wind Energy

There is no shortage of green energy generation ideas lately, and while some have very little merit and usefulness, others, like the brain child of engineer Louis Michaud, bring an very interesting twist. Michaud’s idea is to make and contain a twister to harvest its energy with wind turbines. At first glance, the idea seems doubtful at best, but upon further inspection, his concept is quite brilliant.

Michaud plans to harness the waste heat from a power plant and push that heated air into a round room at an angle to create a swirling air current. Then, because the air temperature above is cooler, the spinning tunnel of hot air would naturally rise and dissipate. Once circulating at over 200 mph, a vacuum is formed which holds the vortex together allowing it to extend into the sky where temperatures of -60°F can be found. This massive temperature differential is what perpetuates the spinning of tornadoes and hurricanes, as the lower warmer air is drawn up into the sky, massive amounts of outside air is drawn into the vortex creating the powerful spinning effect.

The energy in Michaud’s system comes from the air rushing into the bottom of the man-made tornado. With electricity generating wind turbines strategically placed at the lower inlets, as much as 200 megawatts of electricity can be generated without draining the twister of its power. 200 MW is enough energy to power a small city and at a price of only $60 Million to construct, this would be the cheapest form of power generation to date.

via: LiveScience

New Wind Turbine Design Increases Efficiency 4 fold

A company called FlowDesign has taken a page from the aeronautical engineering field and designed a type of “Jet Engine” wind turbine. These new wind turbines are said to be able to produce four times more electricity than typical wind turbines. Not only that, but because of their design, they can be placed closer together because they do not disrupt the wind flow as much.

Along with the better and more efficient turbine design, Flowdesign has also designed the transportation and installation methods to make this wind turbine even more efficient. This this type of efficiency increase in the design and production, we could see wind power being a better and cheaper alternative to coal. Flowdesign has been given $500,000 by a Massachusetts company to further develop their turbine design, the installation process and to streamline the manufacturing process.

Check out the original article over at EcoGeek and you can see a very nice rendered video explaining how these new “jet engine” wind turbines really work.

Alternative Energy Breakthrough: Windbelt Technology

Shawn Frayne, an inventor from California recently discovered an excellent new way to transforming wind energy into electricity. His invention was so significant that Popular Mechanics awarded him the 2007 Breakthrough Award. Frayne’s wind-belt invention works by using the oscillating motion produced when air passes over a thin membrane or belt, by attaching magnets at either end of the membrane and allowing the magnets to oscillate between two metal coils on each side, producing an electrical current.

Frayne recently opened a website for this revolutionary product which he is calling the “Humdinger Windbelt” and whatever revenue the company makes in 1st world countries, he hopes to use to help out third world countries. Considering that this technology is very cheap to make and easily repaired, Frayne believes that it is perfect for third world country applications.

Possible Ban on Wind Energy… Why?

A new bill was introduced by Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV) in the House Natural Resources Committee, which would essentially make it a crime to produce clean electricity from wind turbines. The bill H.R. 2337 is nothing but a clever way to line the pockets of big oil, coal and other fossil fuel related businesses, by taking advantage of honest caring people.

The H.R. 2337 bill is camouflaged as an “animal protection” bill which would help save the lives of migratory birds that are killed by wind turbines. Unfortunately, birds are occasionally killed by wind turbines, but the number is so small, it is barely worth mentioning. The fact is, of all bird deaths, only .003% are a result of wind turbines, that’s 3 wind turbine related death out of every 100,000 bird deaths. And the wind industry is currently funding many different collaborative research programs to help put a stop to these unfortunate bird deaths.

When compared to other energy methods, the total effect on our nations wildlife from wind generated energy is almost non existent. There is much greater harm is being posed to our nation’s wildlife with harmful mercury emissions from coal power plants, radioactive waste and thermal pollution from nuclear energy, and other hazards associated with fossil fuel and other energy usage. So, if this bill really is what it is supposed to be, an animal protection bill, then you would think that the provisions would extend to all forms of energy production and not just wind turbines.

It is for this very reason that I believe this bill is a slick way of tricking caring individuals into signing a bill which would ultimately create an unworkable bureaucracy that will delay clean, emissions-free wind energy projects throughout the United States. Not only would this bill stop any new wind projects, but it would force all currently producing turbines, including small residential units to cease operation 6 months after the passing of this bill, until each and every turbine can be “certified” through a bureaucratic process that would take years. The bill also imposes a $50,000 fine or a year in jail for anyone using an “un-certified” wind turbine.

If you are like me and you feel that wind energy is an essential tool to creating a sustainable future that is clean and free of dependence on foreign energy sources, then take a stand today. Please take a minute and sign the petition to put a stop to this ridiculous bill.Veto HR 2337 here

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References:

Americas Wind Energy Association

H.R. 2337 bill