VORTEX developed an innovative wind turbine that would represent a break-through in the wind energy sector. This aero-generator is a new paradigm of harnessing wind, with a disruptive technology to generate energy from the wind without blades.
VORTEX is able to capture the wind kinetic energy thanks to the vortex shedding effect, and eventually transforming it into electricity. The technology seeks to optimize aero-generator´s specifications as maintenance and operational requirements, amortization costs, noise, logistics, environmental impact and design whilst producing energy in a secure, clean and efficient way, and 50% cheaper than current small wind turbines (SWT).
VORTEX produces an affordable and cheaper renewable energy for our End-Users: private individuals, general public, households, wind energy cooperatives, energy services companies (ESCOs), manufactures and distributors, businesses, utilities, etc.
VORTEX will deploy a technology suitable to provide a reliable energy, stand-alone or combined with other RES, at several scales (domestic, commercial and utility), with a great impact in those areas where solar energy does not perform well.
VORTEX has yielded excellent results and has captured the industrial and commercial interest. We built a 6-meters wind turbine pilot prototype in Spain, which generates up to 40% of energy solely from wind. The technology is being scaled up from small equipments to medium. Our goal for the Phase 2-SMEInst is to scale-up and test a prototype up to 12,5 meters and 4kW power – enough to power a European household -.
VORTEX would be eventually commercialize and massively produced. VORTEX will provide customers with excellent return on investment within 5 years. Our main goal is to become the designer, manufacturer and seller of the first-ever bladeless wind generator for the Small Wind Market (SWM).
Our technology is backed by a family of patents and by the significantly optimised specifications of the equipment (noise, aesthetics, wildlife impact) when compared to conventional wind turbines. One of our main thrust is the great interest arosed by VORTEX in the general public, local authorities, environmentalists, private investors, wind energy stakeholders, etc. We truly aim to significatly contribute to address EU 2020 energy targets, whilst positioning us as leaders of the sector.
The aim is to scale-up, test and certify a prototype up to 12,5 meters capable of providing 4kW of nominal power.
The objectives of the project has been defined from three different points of view. The successful commercialization of Vortex depends on the fulfilment of all of them:
• Technical optimisation of the system and construction.
• Performance of the complete system and certification.
• Vortex commercialisation strategy.
// Objetive 1: Scale-up and technical optimisation
1.1. Computational validation of wind tunnel models under controlled wind conditions.
1.2. CFD model extension, including scalability effects and turbulence.
1.3. Aerodynamic and structural optimisation and material selection.
1.4. Electric generator and power converter optimisation.
1.5. Build 5 units of the optimised design.
// Objetive 2: Assessment of performance and certification.
2.1. Successfully install the 5 technological demonstrators in the demo field.
2.2. Certificate 4kW vortex device.
2.3. Life cycle analysis and carbon footprint to demonstrate the eco-viability of the product.
// Objective 3: Commercialisation strategy and final Business innovation plan
3.1. Verify all figures of the business innovation plan.
// Objective 4: Communication, dissemination activities.
4.1. Effective dissemination.
4.2. Identify more sectorial events, fairs and congresses to announce our product and obtain stand offers.
4.3. Engage current clients to visit the show-room plant during demo and give us feedback.
4.4. Introduce Vortex in the wind energy sector.
Vortex had developed a feasibility analysis prior to starting the development of the marketable product. A summary of the activities are included bellow.
a) Market assessment. We identified and quantified end-users and thus the market potential, paying special attention to market segmentation, especially in the segment target of the SWT, the domestic use in isolated-remote houses, and EU renewable energy policies.
b) Technological feasibility. An overview of international competing research and innovation development has been addressed. A clear roadmap of mechanical redesign and scaling up have been defined to better identify and quantify the resources needed for each work package.
c) Risk assessment. Technical and business risks have been identified and ranked according to severity.
d) Intellectual Property assessment. e) Detailed work plan for a Phase 2 application. The tasks, deadlines and necessary resources have been defined as an output of the technological assessment, and the analysis of the current status of our prototype. f) Business plan and other assessment. Cost, pricing, key stakeholders, revenues streams, etc., have been studied and defined. A business plan has been defined, including a commercialization strategy, key performance indicators, and criteria for success.
Addressing EU-wide challenges
All the current energy plans policies and actions for a low carbon economy, such as SET PLAN https://setis.ec.europa.eu/, EERA (http://www.eera-set.eu) IIEs5, and others, recognize the relevance of the deployment of improved renewable energy sources.
As a backbone for renewable energy production in Europe wind energy, has a key role in meeting both the 2020 energy targets. (20% lower gases emissions, 20% renewable, 20% energy efficient) (SET Plan). The increasing demand for clean and affordable energy all over the world will lead to an increasing demand for SWT. Although the utility industry has moved into multi-megawatt turbines platforms and wind farms to provide energy to large demands, the SWT sub-sector has emerged to reach a different segment of the market.
The SWT sector is growing fast, at 10-18% growth during the last 2 years, as a result of increased environmental awareness, financial incentives, and maturity of the technology leading to lower prices of the technology compared to the previous years. As shown in figure 10, the forecast for the next years is very promising -conservative assumptions forecast a steady compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% until 2020- in which solar and wind energy are expected to increase their market share to reach European demands on renewable energy for 2020 (20%).
In absolute numbers, today China leads the SWT market (570,000 units), followed by USA (155,000 units), and the UK (24,000 units), although reason for this tendency in each country are not the same. Within Europe, the countries with more SWTs installed entirely coincide with the feed-in tariff scheme.
European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has also highlighted the "high wind resources of Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America as ideally suited for small wind application", all these locations SWT has not yet been established. This is a market opportunity and a growth area for Vortex to internationalize and expand.
The following market trends are the key factors for Vortex' business potential and company growth:
Mass power generation. Big clients, renewable energy investors and electricity companies.
Domestic or industrial generation, Near to consumption point.