Vortex Power Systems achieves key milestone

Vortex Power Systems – a spin out from the University of Auckland’s Wind Engineering lab, is developing a novel method of generating electricity from wasted heat, has achieved a key milestone in validating its technology. Vortex’s technology utilises the wasted heat (in the form of water vapour) to fuel a man-made atmospheric buoyancy vortex. The circulating wind currents produced by this vortex at the base of the unit power a turbine to generate electricity, thereby creating useable power from an otherwise wasted energy source. Vortex expects its technology will be able to add >7.5% net power output for thermal power plants and provide a source of electricity for industrial processes using their own wasted heat.

A simple diagram showing Vortex’s technology

The key to Vortex’s technology is its ability to produce tall vortices – which allow for fast wind speeds that make power generation economical. Underpinning this is the theory of lapse rate divergence; a new physics theory proposed by the technical founders of Vortex, Professor Richard Flay and Neil Hawkes. Vortex has now successfully demonstrated the effects of lapse rate divergence and validated the theory in real life. To achieve this, Vortex built its own custom designed vortex wind tunnel testing station to create and test vortices. General Manager Perzaan Mehta, says that its been an exciting and challenging journey to work on proving something as disruptive as Vortex Power Systems, but with the achievement of its milestone the team is confident their technology will work in real life and not just on paper.

Please click here to see to see a vortex successfully turning a makeshift turbine. 

Pacific Channel Fund I led the first round of investment into the company to enable it to undertake a proof of concept to validate the key to its technology. VPS has since filed for patents in key jurisdictions and is launched its next round of capital raising. Vortex is currently seeking NZ$1.3m to design a 1MW station, and form a commercial relationship with a trial partner. For further information on the exciting work Vortex is doing please contact Perzaan Mehta at [email protected]