Here's another great South Dakota resource we could put to work for America's alternative energy future: tornados!
Well, we can't lasso the natural twisters that rip across the prairie, but Canadian engineer Louis Michaud has come up with an idea for generating controlled vortices that would spin power turbines—the atmospheric vortex engine (AVE). The AVE would get its starting energy from the waste heat of power plants. A big tornado whirling up out of the cooling tower at the planned Big Stone II power plant could increase the power output by 40% and perhaps delay the need to build more coal-fired plants. It could also produce a 20-kilometer downwind zone of cloud cover... maybe not the best thing for nearby farm fields. And wouldn't a tornado roaring along in a smokestack all day long be a little noisy?
But hey, it's an idea! The engineers among my readers are welcome to peruse and critique the details at Michaud's website. Who knows: maybe our energy future lies in reaping the whirlwind....
How does your street score? - I was actually surprised at my rating of 72%, I thought it would be higher. Check out your street rating.
3 hours ago