With a growth in population and a change in lifestyle, urban centers of the future will require more energy for an affordable price, something which current renewable energy generating systems don’t seem to produce. Thinking out of the box, Canadian engineering Louis Michaud believes that man-made tornadoes will share the burden of renewable energy along with solar, wind energy and other conventional means of producing power.
While harnessing a natural tornado doesn’t seem to be a viable option, Louis is thinking of producing a man-made vortex using waste heat from something on the lines of a 500MW thermal power plant. The tornado-like atmospheric vortex, won’t be devastating as it cannot move since it will be anchored to its heat source.
Michaud has developed a prototype atmospheric vortex engine that can produce clean energy from the vortex for as little as three cents for every kilowatt hour. Inspired by the innovation, Breakout Labs, a fund established by the Thiel Foundation, has awarded a grant of $300,000 to Michaud to further develop the prototype to a commercial scale. The upcoming prototype to be developed by Michaud will be eight meters in diameter and will produce a 40-meter tall vortex with a diameter of 30 centimeters. The system will produce power using a one-meter diameter turbine for testing purposes. The real prize according to the developer will be a large-scale AVE engine that can produce up to 200MW of clean renewable power using nothing more than waste heat from a 500MW thermal power plant.