Breaking ground: Vortex celebrates key milestone

December 6, 2022

Vortex Power Systems, a New Zealand early-stage, deep-tech company, has celebrated reaching a key milestone in its goal of converting low-grade waste heat into clean electricity.

Knowing the importance of proving that an innovation works just as effectively in the environment as it does in the lab, Vortex is now commencing the construction of its pilot plant at a trial site located 15km north of Gisborne.

CEO of Vortex Power Systems said "Following a successful trial outcome, we expect to roll out the technology on a commercial basis within a two-year period."

The ground-breaking technology, first developed in the University of Auckland’s aerodynamics lab and spun out into Vortex Power Systems in 2017, aims to address the global need for more power to meet the demands of an increasing population and the shift to clean energy that is consistent and cost-effective.

Perzaan added "The Vortex team identified a solution to this problem is through capturing the energy that is currently going to waste. Estimated to be worth $300b, the global waste heat market is significant. Approximately 50% of the world’s total energy consumption is lost as waste heat which is enough energy to power more than three billion households (or an amount equal to the annual power consumption of the US, Chinaand India).

"By transforming a portion of this waste heat, which is often seen as an after-thought, into an energy source, the Vortex technolgoy can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the supply of clean energy, reduce the cost of electricity and provide opportunities to recycle electricity back to the infrastructure partners.

The technology works as an ‘add on’ to existing on-site infrastructure producing waste heat e.g., large-scale industrial manufacturers, power generators, pulp and paper mills, steel and aluminiumworks – industries that underpin our global economy.

"Companies globally have had difficulty overcoming the challenges of dealing with the wasted heat from large industrial plants let alone turning it into something useful, said Perzaan. "Vortex’s proprietary technology works on different scientific principles that focus on low-temperature waste heat and we're thrilled to be reaching this next milestone in our journey to making a signficant impact on our future."  

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