The development, promotion, and marketing of the Vortec 7 configuration has all the hallmarks of the hubris characteristic of Diffuser-Augmented Wind Turbine inventions. In short, the hype exceed the turbine’s performance and the company’s promotion exceeded its ability to deliver. Some of the country’s best engineers were swept up in the euphoria produced by one of New Zealand’s most charismatic promoters.
This summary reflects my view at the time. Key participants were acknowledging the technical failure of Vortec 7, but they couched their failure in arcane technical language at arcane conferences.
Doubts about an unusual approach to turbine design have been proven right with the demise of Vortec Energy, launched in 1994 with strong hopes for its diffuser augmented wind turbine (DAWT) design. Strong financial interest raised NZ$25 million ($10.3 million) and there was talk of listings in the US and Europe alongside licensing deals in Australia and Spain. But the New Zealand company has admitted to shareholders that its technology is not commercially viable and Vortec Energy is being wound up
Wind turbine company Vortec Energy is being wound up because its project is uneconomic, despite having raised $23 million in the past five years. . .
The announcement this week that Vortec is closing comes as no surprise to Windflow Technology chief executive, Geoff Henderson. Windflow Technology Ltd is raising $3 million to establish local manufacturing of its Windflow design.
Simplified one-dimensional arguments lead to predictions of speed-ups of about 2 and power augmentations of about 4, but such power levels have not been observed to date.