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Energy from manmade tornados Atmospheric Vortex Engine receives funding

first_imgTornados are something many people fear due to their destructive power, but according to Canadian entrepreneur Louis Michaud, they also make for a great source of green energy generation, if controlled. And he’s not the only one, as former Paypal co-founder and early Facebook investor, Peter Thiel, has just funded Michaud’s company.AVEtec is attempting to create something called an Atmospheric Vortex Engine, which can simply be described as a tornado that is created and controlled in order to produce energy. In order to work, it requires hot air, which AVEtec says could be supplied from the waste hot air power plants, factories, and data centers already produce.An AVE works by blowing hot air at an angle into a 130 foot column. Due to the temperature difference between this air and the atmosphere above, it is possible to turn this spinning hot air into a vortex. The 40-meter tall tornado that forms in the column can then be used to turn several turbines and produce energy. And as it relies on waste heat and produces no carbon emissions during operation, it classes as an eco-friendly method of energy production. It’s also predicted to be cheaper than using coal at just 3 cents per kilowatt.As an example of its potential, AVEtec states that a 500 megawatt thermal power plant could produce a further 200 megawatts by using an AVE.AVEs for power generation still class as unproven technology simply because no one has built the 130 foot column and supporting infrastructure to get one up and running yet. The funding from Peter Thiel amounts to $300,000 and has come through his Breakout Labs venture, which aims to fund early-stage science projects. With the money, AVEtec and Michaud aim to build a prototype AVE with the help of Lambton College in Ontario. If it proves to be successful, then as well as a growing number of wind turbines being erected around the world, we may also see giant columns appearing next to every hot-air generating industrial site.More at Breakout Labs, via GigaOMlast_img read more