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Topic: Alternative energy source or Canadian doomsday device?

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Morphman
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Posted on January 4, 2013 at 19:04:49 [Post link]
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This made me do a double-take.


Scientists Developing Tornado Power Plant

The completed design could be one of the cheapest forms of energy around.

A group of Canadian scientists are working on a power plant that will use a controlled tornado to drive turbines, and they're calling it the Atmospheric Vortex Engine (AVE). Essentially, the AVE works by pulling hot, humid, low air into itself and creating a vortex - approximately the way a tornado works, this air makes a major temperature difference between the engine and the atmosphere above, making a vortex extending into the atmosphere. The finished plant would have a diameter of about 100 meters, and would produce 200 megawatts of electrical power. That's about the same as a traditional coal-fired fossil fuel plant. Comparably, the AVE wouldn't produce any carbon emissions and wouldn't require a fuel storage facility. It's estimated that the AVE would cost about 3 cents per kilowatt hour, which ranks it among the cheapest forms of energy.

The idea was created by an engineer named Louis Michaud from Western University, and is being funded by the Thiel Foundation. "The power of a tornado is undisputed," said Louis Michaud. "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 safety of the atmospheric vortex engine."

Source.


Kinda made me ponder possible alternative energy sources, all sci-fi setting style.


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Posted on January 5, 2013 at 22:49:19 [Post link]
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I say doomsday device. We crafty Canadians could use one of these eventually.

Interesting article, and that's definitely a power source I hadn't considered. I like it when people can think out of the box and come up with clever alternatives!


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Posted on January 5, 2013 at 23:11:32 [Post link]
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Except for the idea that Canada's due for a 'quiet kid who's dad owns lots of guns' world wide killing spree, this actually sounds pretty awesome. I wonder if the vortex itself would have any longstanding effect on the weather.


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Posted on January 5, 2013 at 23:20:51 [Post link]
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I think this power has already been used by criminals within Canada's borders, and just now the authorities are trying to play catch-up. How else could they have moved all that syrup?

I think I saw an Ancient Aliens episode once where they asserted that vimanas could be powered by a similar force. Maybe they will do a new episode about that now.

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Posted on January 6, 2013 at 16:00:12 [Post link]
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If this works, I imagine a load of wind farms will pop up a short distance away.


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Posted on January 7, 2013 at 0:17:12 [Post link]
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Cool idea, but I agree with Wind. I'm worried about the environmental repercussions.

Also, I thought of the scenario of the tornado breaking free. I doubt it would go too far since it's artificially fed, but perhaps that day had the perfect weather to sustain it. I wouldn't want to live around there. ^^;


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Posted on January 7, 2013 at 15:43:43 [Post link]
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I would imagine anyone smart enough to create an artificial tornado would be smart enough to shut it down during severe weather conditions.


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Posted on January 7, 2013 at 16:25:54 [Post link]
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It'd be neat if the artificial tornado had the opposite effect: instead of breaking free and wreaking havoc on whatever it passes over, it'd channel the ambiant weather and have a dampening effect on the local climate. I could see uses for that.


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Posted on January 14, 2013 at 13:23:47 [Post link]
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Don't tornadoes dissipate pretty quickly on land? Or am I thinking of hurricanes? What difference is there between the two anyway?

Quote from post #231432:
Originally posted by Dr. Cossack
It'd be neat if the artificial tornado had the opposite effect: instead of breaking free and wreaking havoc on whatever it passes over, it'd channel the ambiant weather and have a dampening effect on the local climate. I could see uses for that.


CLIMATE CONTROL, woo!


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Posted on January 23, 2013 at 2:35:13 [Post link]
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There hasn't been a villain worth mentioning who at one point hasn't at least attempted to control the weather :)


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Posted on January 26, 2013 at 6:47:50 [Post link]
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Like the dreaded Wire Sponge!

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Posted on February 5, 2013 at 2:57:55 [Post link]
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I've learned that you can never, EVER, trust Canadians. o_o


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