Pacific Channel is currently leading a seed round into a Auckland-based clean-tech company called Vortex Power Systems - a spin out from the University of Auckland’s Wind Engineering lab, which is developing a novel method of generating electricity from wasted heat emitted by thermal processes. Vortex’s technology utilises the wasted heat (in the form of water vapour) to fuel a man-made atmospheric buoyancy vortex. The circulating wind currents produced by this vortex at the base of the unit power a turbine to generate electricity, thereby creating usable power from an otherwise wasted energy source. Vortex expects its technology will be able to add >7.5% net power output for thermal power plants and provide a source of electricity for industrial processes using their own wasted heat.
Vortex has a 15m high working prototype unit at the University of Auckland Newmarket Innovation Precinct which demonstrates its technology.
Their pre-seed round went well (they have achieved all their milestones). They are now raising up to $2m in a seed round.
Click the Register Interest button above to be put in touch the advisers for this opportunity and notified of investor webinars in the near future.
How it works
Wasted heat from thermal processes are normally captured in their cooling circuits, that traditionally use water.
Our technology utilises this to create a controllable vortex akin to a waterspout that will be created from a difference in temperature and water vapour. The waste heat then acts as the energy source for the system.
This energy source, when combined with a source of horizontal air circulation or swirl, creates a rotating, rising column of buoyant air that produces concentrated rotating winds at the ground, like a controlled tornado. By placing a wind-turbine at the base of the vortex, we can convert the wind from the vortex into power; capturing a portion of the waste heat energy as electricity.
STEP 1. Low-level waste heat from power generation
STEP 2. Heated water sprayed into system
STEP 3. Initial rotation of turbine
STEP 4. Rising heat and rotation of air draws in air at an angle
STEP 5. Creation of self-sustaining vortex
STEP 6. Vortex drives power generation turbine at base
STEP 7. Additional 7.5% electricity generation
STEP 8. Remove heated water to halt operation