Title:
Power Generation Using Buoyancy-induced Vortices

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Abstract
Various systems and methods are provided for power generation using buoyancy-induced vortices. In one embodiment, among others, a vortex generation system includes a nucleating obstruction; an array of vanes distributed about the nucleating obstruction, the array of vanes configured to impart an angular momentum on air drawn through the array of vanes to form a columnar vortex over the nucleating obstruction; and a set of turbine blades positioned over the nucleating obstruction, the set of turbine blades configured to extract power from the columnar vortex. In another embodiment, a method for power extraction from a buoyancy-induced vortex includes establishing a thermal plume; imparting angular momentum to boundary layer air entrained by the thermal plume to form a stationary columnar vortex; and extracting power from the stationary columnar vortex through turbine blades positioned within the stationary columnar vortex.
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11/4/2014
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