Never one to let a good heading get away from me, it’s time to turn the evil power of tornadoes into something good — namely, green energy. And thanks to The Thiel Foundation’s funding program Breakout Labs, a new grant has been awarded to harness the power of atmospheric vortexes.
“The power in a tornado is undisputed,” said Louis Michaud, Canadian engineer and designer of the Atmospheric Vortex Engine (AVE). “My work has established the principles by which we can control and exploit that power to provide clean energy on an unprecedented scale.
“With the funding from Breakout Labs, we are building a prototype in partnership with Lambton College to demonstrate the feasibility and the safety of the atmospheric vortex engine.”
Michaud’s design sees warm or humid air introduced into a circular station wherein it takes the form of a rising vortex which drives multiple turbines.
AVE has several advantages over other green energies: AVE produces no carbon dioxide emissions, nor does it require any storage given that the power can be turned on and off at will simply by altering the flow of warm or humid air.
AVEtec (the name of the company) believes that the cost of energy it could generate might be as low as 3 cents per kilowatt hour, making it easily one of the cheapest forms of energy production.
The AVEtec grant is one of three recently doled out by Breakout Labs this month.
“Our three newest grant recipients–AVEtec, General Genomics, and Siva Therapeutics–are vastly different in their technologies, company strategies, and goals,” said Breakout Labs Executive Director, Lindy Fishburne. “What unites them is ground-breaking science coupled with the passion, vision, and creativity of their founders. We are delighted to bring them into the Breakout Labs community.”
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