A tornado is rarely something to be seen in a positive light, but the creators of the Atmospheric Vortex Engine (AVE) hope to harness properties of the extreme weather phenomenon to create cheap, renewable power. Currently under development by AVEtech, the AVE creates a contained wind vortex from which energy can be harvested at an estimated 3 cents per kilowatt-hour. The AVE recently received funding through Breakout Labs, bringing tornado-power just one step closer to reality.

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AVE creates a controlled wind vortex by injecting warm or humid air into a circular structure. AVEtech, the company behind the idea, estimates that the cost of producing tornado-driven energy would be as low as 3-cents per kilowatt-hour. By comparison, wind power, which is the most cost effective renewable energy source, costs about 5-cents per kilowatt-hour according to the American Wind Energy Association. In addition to being cost effective, tornado power doesn’t require any storage and it produces zero carbon emissions.

AVEtech, the company behind the idea, is the brainchild of Louis Michaud, an inventor from Ontario, who says that he created the AVE in order to help alleviate global warming by providing clean energy for future generations. “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,” he says.


via Clean Technica