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March 2 2013

Dust Devils Power Energy Machine


Dust devils are swirling micro-tornadoes that pop up regularly in dry, warm climates or during the summertime. Researchers say they have figured out how to tame the tiny twisters and extract their energy using a rotating turbine blade.

A team at Georgia Tech has built a small demonstration prototype about three feet wide. It looks like the inside of an aircraft engine rotor turned on its side. Warm air flows in through a series of vanes that force the buoyant ground-heated air to rotate as it rises.

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