WIT Press

A review of convective and artificial vortices for power generation


Free (open access)

Paper DOI



Volume 10 (2015), Issue 5



Page Range

650 - 665




Thermal energy transfer in the atmosphere occurs from a high temperature zone to a low one by means of convective vortices where mechanical energy is produced. There are two ways of driving vertical flow in the core of a vortex: (1) by the direct action of buoyancy acting on hot air and (2) by producing a vertical pressure gradient along the axis of a vortex because of core development involving the lateral spread of the vortex with height. In particular, it indicates that the intensity of convective vortices depends on the depth of the convective layer via thermodynamic efficiency, the enthalpy perturbation across them, and the existence of sources of vorticity. The atmospheric vortex engine (AVE) is a device for producing an artificial vortex. The operation of AVE is based on the fact that the atmosphere is heated from the bottom and cooled at the top. By artificial vortex generation, it is aimed to eliminate the physical solar updraft tower and reduce the capital cost of solar chimney power plants. This paper reviews natural convective vortices and vortex creation via physical principles of vortex generation. Vortex analysis and modelling are presented. Furthermore, a new model of a solar vortex engine (SVE) is proposed and discussed. An idea on utilizing the solar energy as the heat source for establishing the vortex and operating the SVE model is adopted. The SVE model is feasible and promising for electrical power generation.


Artificial vortex, convective vortices, solar vortex engine, tornado, vortex analysis