Illustration of the Atmospheric Vortex Engine, created by Louis Michaud.

This is by far the best news that Desdemona has ever posted on this blog. After obsessive consideration of the plausible post-fossil fuel energy technologies, Desdemona has believed for some time that this is the only solution that scales to power civilization globally and also has an immediate salutary effect on climate.

Contact: Louis Michaud, P.Eng., President, AVEtec Energy Corporation, 1269 Andrew Ct., Sarnia, Ontario  N7V 4H4, 519-542-4464
Brian Monrad, VP Finance, 57 Duggan Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 1Y1, 416 932-2143

Sarnia, Ontario, 13 December 2012 (AVEtec) – It is not every day that Silicon Valley entrepreneurs like Peter Thiel (founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook) fund research projects in Canada, but Sarnia Ontario inventor Louis Michaud has the kind of innovative technology that attracts visionary investors looking for scalable projects at the forefront of science and technology.

Louis Michaud, inventor of the Atmospheric Vortex Engine (“AVE”) and president of AVEtec Energy Corporation, announced today that the Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs of Palo Alto California has agreed to fund a prototype AVE to be constructed in partnership with Lambton College in Sarnia Ontario.

Diagram of the Atmospheric Vortex Engine, created by Louis Michaud. Illustration by Charles Floyd http://vortexengine.caThe AVE uses low-temperature waste heat to create a tornado-like atmospheric vortex.  In contrast with a real tornado, the vortex can’t go anywhere because it is anchored to its heat source.  So it is really more like a dust devil or waterspout, and it serves as a low-cost virtual chimney.  A leading cooling tower engineering firm in Germany is discussing applications with its major clients. With the addition of a virtual chimney, a $15 million mechanical draft cooling tower would work even better than a $60 million natural draft cooling tower.

“The real prize will be using a large scale AVE to drive turbines”, says Michaud.  “Using the low temperature waste heat from a 500MW thermal power plant could generate an additional 200MW of power, increasing capacity by 40% and producing perfectly green electricity at less than three cents per kilowatt hour.”

“We started with bench-top models and then did a CFD computer modeling study at the University of Western Ontario with Ontario Centres of Excellence funding.  That led to the construction of a 4m diameter outdoor prototype which we built and tested successfully in Petrolia Ontario in 2009.”

The 8m diameter prototype at Lambton College will produce a 40m tall vortex with a diameter of 30cm.  It will power a 1m diameter turbine for testing purposes.  “Power output increases geometrically with size, so commercialization will become economically viable when we build a 40m diameter prototype in 2015” says Michaud. 

Lambton College has a well-respected Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology (ICET) program that qualifies students to work as technologists in energy, chemical, bioprocess and refining industries.  “Lambton College is the perfect partner for instrumentation and testing of this prototype, and we are looking forward to working with their faculty and students”, said Michaud.

The AVE concept was presented at the 3rd International Solar Updraft Tower conference in Wuhan China in October 2012 and attracted great interest.  Discussions are now underway with a Chinese university interested in working on the second stage prototype.

Silicon Valley Funds Ontario Green Energy Innovation


  1. opit said...

    TY Jim. That's a 'heads up' of note.  


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