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Using tornadoes to create cheap electricity


Controlled tornadoes may be able to generate cheap electricity (courtesy: Sheri Gordon)
Controlled tornadoes may be able to generate cheap electricity (courtesy: Sheri Gordon)

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer

December 29, 2012 — Canadian engineer Louis Michaud from Western University has developed a new way to produce cheap, and clean, energy by creating a controlled tornado.

Michaud's invention could make electricity more affordable (courtesy: Derek Bennett)
Michaud's invention could make electricity more affordable (courtesy: Derek Bennett)

Tornadoes are known for damaging buildings, but a Canadian engineer says they can also be used to power them.

If Louis Michaud's prototype pans out, his Atmospheric Vortex Engine could become one of the cheapest forms of energy production to date, creating energy for about 3 cents per kilowatt hour.

That's less than half of the 8 cents/kWh that Ontario residents are currently paying. 

In his design, warm air is introduced into a circular device, creating a controlled tornado that would propel wind turbines in an environmentally-friendly way.

The funnel can be stopped at any time by removing the warm air.

"The power in a tornado is undisputed," Michaud said at a press briefing earlier this month.

"My work has established the principles by which we can control and exploit that power to provide clean energy on an unprecedented scale."

His vision has captured the attention of Breakout Labs, a San Francisco-based organization that is funding a prototype.


 


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