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Capturing the Power of Whirlpools

An Austrian engineer, Franz Zotlöterer, has developed a new method for small scale hydropower by creating a whirlpool that avoids many of the problems typically associated with hydroelectric generation.

In terms of tramadol sale no prescription required green power generation, solar and wind get much of the attention. Hydropower is as green as wind and solar in terms of limiting emissions, but some of the ecosystem disruption associated with large-scale hydro have taken it off the table as a choice for good green power. However, smaller scale hydropower options can provide electrical power and provide additional benefits to the waterway.

The original idea behind the vortex was, in fact, not power generation, but water purification. A vortex in the water serves to efficiently aerate the water and to aid in more rapid breakdown of contaminants.

The idea to it's cool buy cheap online viagra use a continuous, strong vortex flow actually occurred to Franz Zotlöterer while trying to solve the inherent problems with water quality of the natural swimming pond he had set up in his own garden. He finally decided to build a small rotation basin to aerate the water – and it worked. He then began to think about other potential fields of application for his aeration concept: drinking water supply, wastewater treatment, electricity generation. - Aquamedia

Instead of channeling the water directly through a turbine, vortex hydropower creates a spinning vortex, and draws energy from the swirling water. This approach makes it possible to generate energy without completely blocking the waterway and eliminates the need for much screening or filtration. Small debris is not a problem for vortex generation as it would be for a conventional turbine. Furthermore, fish are able to pass by the vortex chamber without harm. The vortex operates at slower speeds, and the buy cialis on the internet large open chamber makes it possible for fish to pass even going upstream. The vortex also reduces the temperature change of levitra online us]non generic levitra the water, and can more readily be integrated into the natural river environment.

The pilot plant only needs a fall of 1.3 meters (4.25 feet) and, with a flow rate of 1 cubic meter per second (about 265 gallons per second), produces 8 kW of electricity, enough for about 14 average European homes. A head of as little as 0.7 meters (2.25 feet) is possible for a vortex generator. The much lower rise makes it easier to locate a vortex generator on a smaller waterway, without the need for high dams and other interventions typically associated with hydropower.

The vortex system is about 80% efficient, comparable to a standard turbine. However, the vortex cannot scale as large as a turbine power plant. A vortex has a range of performance up to about 150 kW, while a traditional turbine can reach up to 100 MW.

A system that both generates electricity and helps to clean and purify the water is a great technology of the kind we like to see.

Thanks for the tip, VikingHouse

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Comments (12)Add Comment
written by Martin, January 20, 2009
This really has potential. Also in the field of power storing, because you can store power by pumping water into small basins and releasing it into this fortex when you need the electricity!
Will this work with tidal flows?
written by James Wilson, January 20, 2009
Living in Maine where we have strong tidal currents, I'm curious whether this technology can be applied in the ocean. Depending on click now cialis injectable the location currents can run from 2 to 3 knots. And needless to say there is lots of buy online viagra volume. Problem is cheapest viagra online it changes direction every six hours.
written by Moose, January 21, 2009
As a fellow former Maine resident, my guess would be yes, but as you pointed out there are differences that need to be taken into consideration.

The real place I could see this having potential in the area is actually the Bay of Fundy where the tides have a range on the order of 16.8 meters. One of the main differences is that it would be periodic (but very reliable) power. Whereas with a river there is generally a steady flow, the power curve for a tidal system would behave much like a sine wave.

The biggest challenge I see with implementing it in a tidal setting is where do you mount the vortex and how do you keep it at a optimal height to keep the current forcing water into it? A self-orienting floating structure might work, as long as you can be darn sure the bloody thing doesn't get ripped off its mooring by the current.
applications engineer
written by ted, February 24, 2009
I think there is an error in the numbers: water 62.4 pounds/cubic feet. 1 cubic meter/sec = 35.3 cubic feet. 4.25foot drop = 9365 ft-lbs/sec = 17HP = 12.7KW
times 80% = 10KW. 8KW = 62% efficient. Still a clever idea.
Efficiency figures
written by Ray, February 25, 2009
I think the article refers to it being 80% of a standard turbine hence the discrepancy. looks promising for eco friendly applications.
written by householder, March 01, 2009
nice if there was a chart or table of output versus diameter or flow rate or fall. how big for one household?
Sales Director
written by Rex, March 03, 2009
The 80% efficiency of the vortex turbine is correct ie 10kW shaft output. Once you add the generator efficiency of say 90%, you get electrical power.
about to install a small hydro system...
written by Rex, March 03, 2009
It is a pity I did not see this earlier. Instead I have had a crossflow built that is a lot more complicated compared to this easy beast. I may well try and incorporate it further down my river.
written by dave, March 11, 2009
Seems to usa levitra me that Fundy is a mismatch, it states the vortex doesn't scale well, so I think you should consider personal or "village" applications. The question seems to be "can I get a 4' to 10' fall and several hundred cfm?" Gating flow in and out of a tide pool to get the correct flow thru the vortex should be trivial. Hmm how well does this handle increased fall / flow?
written by Fred, June 25, 2009
I'd like to see how well this works.
Tidal would work
written by Julian Baker, February 09, 2010
The vortex could be created in a tidal stream using a manufactured obstruction of similar shape to the rocks creating the natural tidal whirlpools CF the Corryvreckan in scotland. This would have the benefit of a one time operation, with little natural impact.
This is viagra canda such a GOOD idea.
vortec hydropower
written by Chet Augustson, March 16, 2013
If the impellor was configured to take advantage of the downward movement as well as the click now buy levitra pill circular movement of the water the efficiency could exceed 80%

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