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Giant vortex windmill

Giant vortex to drive windmill
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(+3, -1)
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The problem with wind generators is that they need extremely large swept areas to produce much energy, (swept area times wind velocity cubed). Imagine huge buildings laid out in spirals to collect and focus winds into tornadic vortexes that power high speed turbines. Whole city blocks could be laid out to funnel wind into high velocity areas. Imagine spiral shaped sky scrapers with wind turbines at the center top. The tops of these large spiral shaped, vortex inducing structures could also have the tops painted black to increase vortex velocities via thermal lift.

New extreme sports could also be developed. . Dare devil "vortex" riders could jump into the center of these structures with special flight suits, "surfing to the top" in tornadic winds. Of course the special "tornado surfing" safety nets would have to be in place to protect the tornado surfers from the turbines during competitions.

bronco, Sep 16 2003

(?) A building like this? http://microclimetr...ews.cfm?newsid=1244
[kbecker, Oct 04 2004]

Solar Tower Vortex Generator Solar Tower Vortex Generator
Similar, but in the context of a Solar Tower [zen_tom, Mar 21 2007]


       I don't think we're in Kansas anymore Toto.   

       Jesus you need to find a spell checker bronco - try cutting and pasting into word, correcting the spelling, then pasting it back again.
However - like the idea, though aren't you actually talking about funnelling acceleration, rather than creating vortices?
As an aside, I used to work in an office in Feltham which had the bottom part suspended on concrete plinths. this was part of a shopping development (70's style) which tracked around a corner to where the office was. The resulting funnel effect (the Shopping "street was aligned with the prevailing wind incidentally) prduced a massive local high velocity wind area under the building. Particularly fun in high winds.
goff, Sep 16 2003

       Can the airspeed of ‘vortex’ created downstream of an airfoil (or other disturbance of an open system) ever be greater than the airspeed along one side (or edge) of the airfoil?
Laughs Last, Sep 17 2003

       I've decided to adopt/foster this idea - of course it's better to funnel the wind into a single location where you can gather all of its power in one place, than it is to dot windmills about an area and only pick up a fraction of the available power.   

       But it requires a monumental construction and some pretty well thought out contours in order to construct something that will effectively concentrate the wind - no matter from which direction it blows.   

       I had a similar thought in my Solar Tower Vortex idea - this does the same thing, just without the 1km tall tower in the middle. I wonder if it could be achieved using only landscaping - it would be a shame to have to concrete over vast areas in order to make such a system work.   

       Are there any instances where topological ground features create exaggerated wind effects - similar to the ones described by [goff], only naturally occurring?
zen_tom, Mar 21 2007

       One time I was visiting New Orleans where this effect was unintentionally created by some hotels. The wind in front of the hotel lobby was ridiculous.
IJK, Mar 21 2007


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