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Taming tornadoes to power cities

TornadoLouis Michaud, a retired refinery engineer, aims to create tornados to power cities.

Michaud has spent the past 40 years studying tornados and hurricanes, and is convinced it's possible to engineer and control powerful, full-scale whirlwinds and harness their energy to produce emission-free electricity.

Forget wind farms and their intermittent operation: the future of electricity generation could be tornado power on demand.

Michaud has adapted this process to create what he calls a vortex engine, and has patented the invention in both Canada and the United States.

"I'm talking about a 200-megawatt device, which would be 200 metres in diameter," says Michaud. That's enough electricity for 200,000 homes.

"The vortex would be one to 20 kilometres high, and have 10 turbines (at the bottom) each producing 20 megawatts."

It's a scary thought, and a great basis for a movie script, bringing together the don't-mess-with-nature themes of the films Twister and Jurassic Park. One can imagine the back of this DVD case: "A monster man-made tornado loses control and jumps out of its pen, terrorizing a community and ripping a path through dozens of harmless wind and solar farms. Rated R."

Source: The Star via Ecogeek
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