Vortex Bladeless biography & current stage

vortex technology wind tunnel

Vortex Bladeless biography & current stage


The idea behind the technology //

Vortex Bladeless is a tech startup. We are developing an environmentally friendly wind generator which needs no blades nor rotation. It is a new technology designed for modular on-site energy generation and low-consumption systems off-grid, specially thought to work along with other Vortex units or regular solar panels.

Our vortex wind turbine is not actually a turbine since it does not rotate. It is based on the phenomenon of aeroelastic resonance, harnessing energy from the wind on the emission of Von Karman’s vortexes, a process called vortex shedding or vortex street. This way the device oscillates with a silent movement which makes it perfect to be placed anywhere without lubricants nor disturbing wildlife.

All physical principles of current wind machines are applied to Vortex as well, it is just a different and innovative way of harness energy from wind.

 

Current status 2019

At the current year, and after facing all the milestones of trying to bring a new kind of wind generator to the market, Vortex decided to focus in the end-consumer market. We are developing our first commercial product, Vortex Tacoma of 2,75 m high, for end-customers. Vortex Tacoma prototypes are in the certification stage and being tested in Spain with our program H2020 by European Commission which is about to finish.

We expect (and desire) to reach the European market in 2020 with a first series, however, before this, we need to certify and find a way to manufacture Vortex devices efficiently with industrial methods. Of course, that manufacture stage cannot be fully reached until the certification is done, European laws are very strict, so we need to be sure that the materials and geometry chosen are the best ones to introduce to the market a finished and polished product. To reach further markets will need more time due to logistics.

Vortex Tacoma is designed as a “small wind” generator for residential/rural purposes, entering in the market from below, the best and only option for us as a startup company. We may launch Vortex Nano as well, the device we use for quick testings, a wind-powered USB charging station of less than 1m high, like a wind power bank with batteries inside.

Once industrialised and built with precision, Vortex Tacoma units are estimated to have a nominal power of around 100w, Vortex Nano around 2W, and both working on a nice lock-in range, which is calibratable. With current designs, it is possible to reach more power but reducing the lock-in range, which is, roughly speaking, the range of wind speeds in which an aerogenerator is able to work. Our goal with bladeless aerogenerators is to make them a true equivalent in wind power of solar panels.

We want to generate as much energy as possible but for a longer period of time as well, since wind can blow 24/7 but not always at the same velocity. The goal here is to combine these two tasks and optimize both at its maximum. Vortex’s team is formed by 9 people at the moment, working restlessly to bring the best product to the market in the near future. Find a FAQs here.

 

The Bladeless turbines

Vortex Bladeless biography & current stage

Vortex is a vertical, slender and cylinder-shaped wind generator. It is composed of a fixed part where the device is attached to a basement, and a flexible part which, acting as a cantilever, interacts freely with the fluid in an oscillation movement.

It could be divided into two parts; mast and base. Curiously, one of the hardest parts is to industrialize the manufacturing of the mast while keeping its characteristics. At the moment some methods are feasible but we are still testing alternatives to optimise it.

Due to its brilliant design, it has no gears or moving parts in contact, so it needs no oils nor lubricants. The device’s operation couldn’t be easier, almost plug-and-go, it barely requires maintenance and operative costs. All these features make it perfect for distributed energy.

The alternator transforms mechanical energy into electricity. It counts with neodymium magnets and its stator is located inside of the mobile part of the device.

While converting mechanical energy into electricity, the alternator cushions the induced oscillation movement and simultaneously it is able to modify the natural oscillation frequency of the bladeless turbine’s structure, therefore the lock-in range is increased while maintaining the resonance frequency in higher wind speeds, we call this tuning system. Unlike regular wind turbines, this phenomenon is able to modify the apparent elasticity constant of the structure which depends on the oscillation amplitude, allowing it to grow as long as the wind speed grows.

In spite of its simplicity, 6 families of registered patents protect the design and technology worldwide. Find more on our technology page.

 

Our story, becoming a tech startup //

As every project of this kind, the first steps are hard for entrepreneurs. A tech startup is even more complicated since you need to develop before manufacture, and efficiently manufacture before selling. Of course with the certification passed, no errors from industrialisation processes, proper quality control and post-buy services.

There are still many things to do and many goals to achieve before Vortex Bladeless become a full member of the Wind Industry. Our coCEO Raul reminds in this article the steps that brought us here.

Early steps

With their own resources, the project started in Deutecno in 2010, our first tech startup where we were developing electronic noses. When the Vortex’s idea was born, we built a humble wind tunnel and started testing. Our concept proof was a simple water bottle fixed to a stick, oscillating by the force of the wind. We found proof that there was an energy conversion there to take advantage of.

vortex tech startupWe realized soon all the funding we would need to launch this idea. Deutecno Noses was sold and a few months later we built a more elaborated technological demonstration which impressed the Entrepreneurs Fund’s judges of the Repsol Foundation. In early 2014, thanks to the Neotec funds of CDTI and a group of Business Angels which are still with us, Vortex Bladeless SL tech startup is founded and the technology principles were validated in the lab and real environment tests in their early stage.

In early 2015, to start a true development and afford the supplying of computational resources, simulation software, machines and tools, and materials for the early prototypes, the company decided to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign meant for investigation purposes, which attracted the interest of worldwide media.

Reaching milestones

To catch the imagination of the scientific community and new strategic partners, in 2015 Vortex goes to Boston, USA, to introduce our idea to MIT and let the project be known worldwide, becoming trending topic in renewable energies for months.

On the other hand, NGOs and other environmental entities like Birdlife have shown great interest in this solution and they have offered their collaboration too, since Vortex may have a lower impact on nature and fauna in the case of bigger devices are built in the future.

In June 2016, the European Union’s Commission (EASME) included the Vortex project inside its Horizon 2020 programme. Since then, we have worked restlessly to optimize the technology. The goals projected in 2015 were maybe too ambitious for a startup so we decided that Vortex Tacoma will be the biggest device would develop by now.

Along 2017 and 2018 our special collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), the company Altair, the Microgravity Institute of the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid, and many other tech centers, has been key to success in the different milestones we were facing; having the opportunity to contrast high level computational and experimental results before reaching a functional product.

At the moment, in 2019, we started the certification and industrialisation of the manufacture processes. An objective will be to find nice supply agreements and industrial partners so Vortex aerogenerators can be mass produced, we want to change the landscape!

 

Future of wind power tech?

If solar energy is the king of renewable energies, no doubt wind energy is the queen. Vortex wind generators are more similar in features and cost-effectiveness over time to solar panels than to regular wind turbines. We have been working very hard for years. It was not easy to find out the best ingredients and the best way to cook this special recipe, although we are very close to reaching our goal and dream.

Vortex’s team is working restlessly to optimise the last steps and get the homologation for selling. For the milestone of efficiently assembly bladeless turbines here in Spain we are looking for industrial partners in Europe that can provide materials and manufactured pieces.

Meanwhile, the company wants to launch a beta testing campaign where participants will be able to ex-factory purchase one of the first Vortex wind generators of the world, the Vortex Nano, a small but completely functional tech demonstration, able to feed a USB device like a wind-powered power bank. Of course, feedbacks will be collected in order to improve our final product, Vortex Tacoma, available as soon as possible.

You can keep updated about Vortex’s development in our newsletter and social channels! Thank you very much.

 

39 Comments
  • Sarah
    Posted at 06:28h, 28 April Reply

    vertical bladeless turbines should be bird friendly as the bird can predict where the object will be in their flight path. .Also once you perfected your bladeless vertical generator please consider taking energy from the wind to create a calm courtyard space behind a wall generator. Lots of places where people live are too windy to be comfortable: shoreline sea breezes, high buildings, top of the valley. They may not be mega turbines but reducing the strength of the wind for local domestic purposes will generate enough electricity to supplement local domestic use, as well as serve an entirely different need/market.

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 12:27h, 01 May Reply

      That is a nice consequence of install several devices in line! The wind behind will be weaker, it will be more turbulent as well due to the vortexes but you won’t notice it. Nice application idea.

  • Paul J Hannah
    Posted at 14:33h, 17 April Reply

    How many Tacoma units would an average house need to power it?
    I assume that we would need the windpower to keep batteries charged.

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 11:03h, 02 May Reply

      That is correct, in any renewables system you need batteries. To power an entire family house with Tacomas would require a lot of them or very nice wind conditions, same with solar panels, you will need several panels and nice solar conditions. However with a few Tacomas and a few solar panels you could cover a nice part of the consumption, lowering your bill a lot!

  • Tomas Fernandez
    Posted at 21:46h, 12 March Reply

    Felicitaciones equipo! Estoy seguro que harán un cambio gigantesco a este hermoso planeta. Acabo de ver como es el proyecto de Vortex, la verdad que me parece muy interesante, me encanto! Me encantaria crear una empresa para ayudar al planeta, pienso en ideas…
    Exitos para Vortex!!! Los sigo desde Argentina.

  • Rodolfo Laporta
    Posted at 10:57h, 30 November Reply

    Sigo esperando que los estudios les permitan desarrollar unidades de mayores dimensiones. En realidad, buscamos un equipo capaz de generar 2 MW. Hemos medido la velocidad del viento durante 18 meses corridos a 49, 60 y 80 metros sobre el nivel del terreno y verificamos la presencia de vientos con velocidad superior a 7m/s durante el 47% del tiempo.
    Nos mantendremos en contacto en espera de alcanzar esa meta.
    Éxito -No suerte – en vuestro desarrollo!!!!
    Rodolfo

  • Tony Sol
    Posted at 12:22h, 01 October Reply

    I am a small shareholder in a Vanadium startup miner in Australia that has a off shoot business with VRB’s ( they have actually used the local University to advance the electrolytes needed for a VRB). Might be a good idea if you make contact with them for the new mine as a way for them to be fully integrated rather that shipping expensive gas or diesel to site. If you need a contact detail please reply to this, I would think it could actually change a lot if a self sufficient integrated system could be developed!

  • Old Goat
    Posted at 15:37h, 07 September Reply

    Perhaps four ( 4 ) units in the one ( 1 ) meter size would mount on a small
    ( perhaps under 6 meter )
    Catamaran or Trimaran watercraft…….
    .
    A successful demonstration of an Eco-friendly wind driven watercraft. would gain much admiration .
    Perhaps I could demonstrate such a craft on the Mississippi River in the U S A….
    My suggestion is to demonstrate the concept
    of a watercraft ,totally wind driven ,
    from New Orleans,Louisiana to Memphis, Tennessee U S A…

    as that would be all up river against the current

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 17:03h, 24 September Reply

      That sounds interesting! A wind turbine on a boat that is moving would break its aerodynamic profile, thus slow it down, it won’t be effective to feed an engine with a wind turbine on the same moving object. But they are great solutions for the rest of electric systems of the boat on long sailings where you depend on a battery that needs to be recharged when the boat is still (for example during nights). An hybrid combination wind-solar would be the best option.

  • Siddhant Bhadale
    Posted at 12:31h, 27 August Reply

    Hi my name is Siddhant Bhadale from INDIA ,I’m intrested in your wind-generation Tech , please can you help me understand how the turbine’s alternator works

  • Mayur Patil
    Posted at 17:20h, 26 August Reply

    Its really awesome concept.
    I would like to implement it for my house in India.
    We have good wind throughout the year and this concept can save lot of our money.
    Let me know when its ready.
    This is hope for green and pollution free world.
    All the best and nice work.

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 13:30h, 07 September Reply

      Thank you for your kind words! We will keep people up about Vortex’s current stage on our newsletter and social channels.

  • Marcos Molineri
    Posted at 05:41h, 24 August Reply

    Hola! los felicito por el proyecto!
    Quería hacerles unas preguntas acerca del mismo, ya que estoy haciendo una investigación para la facultad sobre aerogeneradores y uno los seleccionados es este caso.
    Quería saber especificamente cuales son los factores que posibilitan llevar a cabo el proyecto?
    Cual es el contexto socio-cultural?
    Si hubo algún acontecimiento social-historico-cultural, que haya impulsado a la generación de este tipo de aerogenerador?
    Cual es la intención de diseño? si esta atravesado por alguna tendencia/estilo/movimiento de diseño?
    Ademas del puente Tacoma, si hay otros referentes con los que entable relación? (ya sea provenientes del cine, arquitectura, laboratorios, industria aeroespacial, automovilistica, etc.)

    Desde ya, Muchas gracias!!
    Espero que puedan realizar el proyecto con todo éxito

    Saludos desde Argentina.

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 13:14h, 07 September Reply

      Gracias por tus palabras Marcos, intento contestarte lo mejor posible:
      La idea le surgió al inventor, David Yáñez, al ver el puente de Tacoma Narrows oscilar. Sin embargo estos fenómenos son bien conocidos en arquitectura y aeronáutica y no somos los primeros en investigar al respecto, es el concepto de generar energía a partir de ello lo que es novedoso. En esencia el diseño ha venido condicionado tanto por la geometría necesaria para que el principio físico que los hace oscilar ocurra, como por el deseo de equipararnos a la energía solar en prestaciones y características. La intención es principalmente la de no tener partes móviles o rotatorias en contacto y reducir el mantenimiento, la dimensión y la “agresividad” del movimiento que requieren las turbinas eólicas actuales. También usar la menor cantidad de material posible reduciendo sus costes e impacto medioambiental. En cuanto al contexto, los fundadores son ingenieros que de siempre han sido emprendedores; antes de Vortex existía Deutecno, donde desarrollaban sistemas olfativos artificiales. Los factores que posibilitan llevar a cabo este proyecto son fundamentalmente económicos y de recursos; un desarrollo de investigación no produce beneficios pero sí gastos, ha sido gracias a las ayudas económicas y colaboración en investigación por parte de organizaciones, otras empresas y universidades lo que ha posibilitado que nos metiéramos en un proyecto de desarrollo tecnológico a tan gran escala.

  • paula greenough
    Posted at 07:22h, 10 August Reply

    Fantastique 🙂 is there a line for your 1metre size pre-order to australia? I truly think you will skyrocket with more people wishing to free themselves from the confines of capitolised energy generation.
    Sooo impressed.

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 13:10h, 21 August Reply

      Thank you very much! ⚡ We wanna launch those 1m high units as beta testing in the incoming months to get feedback from different environments. We will announce it soon!

  • H+ Industry
    Posted at 17:14h, 13 July Reply

    I am interested in the 1MW system i was on the site awhile back you had. That would be perfect for our project.

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 22:21h, 13 July Reply

      Although we have decided that best option for us is to start with small wind generators, we are not going to stop there at all! Bigger devices will be developed and we will try to find our spot in the wind industry 💪

  • Samir Qadir
    Posted at 16:50h, 13 July Reply

    Great news! I had contributed a very small amount early on to your guys, and I hope this cool project is really successful. Just curious, will the Vortex be “tunable” for local conditions – basically to adjust the lock-in range so that it is centered around the “average” wind speed at any given location, if that makes sense? Just a thought. All the best!!

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 22:16h, 13 July Reply

      Thank you very much! We owe you and all the supporters this dream to be true soon. About your question it makes lot of sense! Vortex devices are calibrated by our engineers to get best results. Happens that you can reach a wider lock-in range but reducing power, and you can reach more power but reducing lock-in range. The hard part is to find best balance in the same integrated system. When commercialisation stage we will study the possibility of different calibrations for each wind conditions 🙂

  • Cloudwalker
    Posted at 15:23h, 13 July Reply

    Anxiously awaiting for the availability of Vortex Bladeless! Would love to incorporate one into my system if it is affordable enough! Keep up the good work!

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 21:27h, 13 July Reply

      Thank you very much! ⚡ Our objetive is for Vortex turbines to be a wind power’s equivalent of solar panels, simple and affordable! We hope we can find an industrialisation process that allows an efficient production since many parts of bladeless wind generators are completely new and patented, so there aren’t many ways to mass produce them nowadays.

  • Frank J. Fedel
    Posted at 15:02h, 13 July Reply

    It’s great to see that you’re following through on this. The more opportunities we have for sensible energy management that we have, the better! Kudos to you all for seeing this through. I can’t wait until they’re available.

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 21:20h, 13 July Reply

      Thank you very much for your kind words! We are excited too, to develop a completely new technology is always an uncertain journey. We have encountered and faced many problems, not just technical. Nevertheless now reaching the end and still believing this deserves a top effort!

  • Bharat Patel
    Posted at 13:52h, 13 July Reply

    Excellent
    Please let me know when you’re ready for crowd funding.
    Thanks

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 21:13h, 13 July Reply

      Thanks to you! We don’t know if crowdfunding will be needed, really depends on the way we manage the upcoming industrialisation process.

  • Xahid
    Posted at 17:23h, 11 July Reply

    What a beautiful concept. Do it guys. Bring revolution!

  • Emanuel Bertalot
    Posted at 23:07h, 10 July Reply

    Sigan adelante!!!, los apoyo desde junio del año 2015 cuando lanzaron su campaña de crowfunding en Indiegogo. Siempre creí en lo que hacen y seré uno de los primeros en comprar el modelo de Vortex que salga a la venta!!!, todo mi apoyo desde Argentina.

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 12:17h, 13 July Reply

      Muchísimas gracias! Este proyecto no habría sido posible sin el apoyo de toda la comunidad que nos ha seguido desde el principio. Nos llena de alegría saber que la gente comparte nuestra visión de una energía más verde y de hacer de este mundo un lugar un poco mejor para todos. Una vez más, gracias!

  • faisal patel
    Posted at 19:06h, 09 July Reply

    hi i m a electrical engineering student .i want do project on it.. plz help me for making vortex bledless turbine

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 12:15h, 13 July Reply

      Hello Faisal! At the moment we are not hiring nor looking for internships. But please write us on our contact form so Vortex’s human resources assistant can take your application into account for the near future. Thank you.

  • Marcelo Cachorro
    Posted at 16:56h, 09 July Reply

    Desde Argentina sigo con entusiasmo éste proyecto y espero con ansiedad poder tener unos de los primeros prototipos.
    Saludos cordiales.
    Marcelo Cachorro
    Argentina

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 12:01h, 13 July Reply

      Gracias! En los meses venideros queremos lanzar un beta testing del Vortex Nano, una demostración tecnológica completamente funcional de 1m de alto capaz de cargar un dispositivo USB o una batería tipo powerbank.

  • MerryJuicy
    Posted at 13:42h, 24 June Reply

    like it very much! keep working!

  • FGM
    Posted at 22:51h, 08 June Reply

    A cool idea which I wanna be true. Make it true guys, going on the good path

    • Vortex Bladeless
      Posted at 23:27h, 19 June Reply

      Thank you for your kind words! We are working restlessly to make this dream come true. We are planning a Beta Testing for the incoming months, keep up on our social channels!

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