Feeds

PayPal founder funds 'tornado-driven' power plant

Green science or mad?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

PayPal co-founder Peter Theiss’ Breakout Labs has spun some pin-money in the direction of a Canadian inventor who claims to have a “zero-carbon” electricity generator that works by creating a captive “atmospheric vortex”.

Or, in the more hyperbolic language of Breakout Labs, AVEtec, it’s a “tornado” driven generator.

Prototype demonstrating AVEtec vortex creation

AVEtec prototype vortex chamber

AVEtec’s claim is that it can use waste heat from facilities like existing power plants – which is a fairly loose interpretation of the expression “zero carbon” – to heat air at the intake of its generation chamber. Warm or humid air entering the bottom of the chamber at the right angle, the company says, will produce a vortex within the chamber, with turbines designed to harvest that energy at the top.

Breakout Labs is putting $300,000 into a proof-of-concept designed to prove one way or the other whether the phenomenon can produce useful amounts of power at the low cost claimed for it (Breakout’s media release puts the price at as little as 3 cents per kilowatt-hour).

At a diameter of 100 meters, the outfit says, it could harvest enough energy to produce 200 MW of power. The test receiving Breakout Labs funding is of a more modest scale: a little over 30 meters tall and nearly eight meters in diameter.

Using heated air to generate power isn’t new, of course. That’s also the principle behind solar thermal power – Australia’s CSIRO has such a plant in Newcastle and is working on an $AU87 million project to cut the generation price from 25 cents per kilowatt-hour down to 10 cents.

AVEtec president Louis Michaud explained the principles in an article in Mechanical Engineering, here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.