The concept of a vortex engine
, independently proposed by Norman Louat aims to replace large physical chimneys with a vortex
of air created by a shorter, less-expensive structure.
Michaud's patent claims that the main application is that the air flow through the louvers at the base will drive low-speed air turbines (21), generating twenty percent additional electric power from the heat normally wasted by conventional power plants. That is, the vortex engine's proposed main application is as a "bottoming cycle
" for large power plants that need cooling towers.
The application proposed by Louat in his patent claims is to provide a less-expensive alternative to a physical Solar updraft tower
. In this application, the heat is provided by a large area of ground heated by the sun and covered by a transparent surface that traps hot air, in the manner of a Greenhouse
. A vortex is created by deflecting vanes set at an angle relative to the tangent of the outer radius of the Solar collector
. Louat estimated that the minimum diameter of the solar collector would need to be 44+ metres in order to collect "useful energy". A similar proposal is to eliminate the transparent cover. This scheme would drive the chimney-vortex with warm... Read More