The Tornado Wind Energy System (TWES) concept utilizes a wind-driven vortex confined by a hollow tower to create a low-pressure core intended to serve as a turbine exhaust reservoir. The turbine inlet flow is provided by a separate ram air supply. Numerous experimental and analytical research efforts have investigated the potential of the TWES as a wind energy conversion system (WECS). The present paper summarizes and analyzes much of the research to date on the TWES. A simplified cost analysis incorporating these research results is also included. Based on these analyses, the TWES does not show any significant promise of improving on either the performance or the cost of energy attainable by conventional WECS. The prospects for achieving either a system power coefficient above 0.20 or a cost of energy less than $0.50/kWh (1979 dollars) appear to be poor.

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