Energy, Vol.36, No.2, 1236-1242, 2011
Technical utilisation of convective vortices for carbon-free electricity production: A review
The instability and unpredictability of future global energy markets necessitate the development of new alternative technical solutions to meet our continuously increasing energy demands. This rapid development has permanent consequences for the environment. This paper analyses several technical solutions and theoretical ideas concerning energy utilisation, i.e. for carbon-free electricity production. The ideas are discussed from theoretical and experimental perspectives. This review focuses on methods of production of an artificial vortex column in the surrounding atmosphere. Namely, convective vortices can be used as heat engines to convert available solar energy into mechanical work. Some of the proposed technical solutions deal with the ability to capture the mechanical energy and produce electricity. The discussion focuses on theoretical models and experimental results. The main aim of this study was to identify the state of the art. The conclusions presented herein may form a basis for further development of this alternative carbon-free concept of energy utilisation. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.