Bladeless Turbine Harvests Wind Energy 2.3X More Efficiently Than Bladed Turbines

By: | December 15th, 2013

The bladeless turbine started out as a garage project but could soon reinvent how we harness wind energy. Image © Saphon Energy

The bladeless turbine started out as a garage project but could soon reinvent how we harness wind energy. Image © Saphon Energy

We have more than enough wind energy to power the whole world. But conventional wind turbines don’t do that great of a job of harnessing it.

Saphon Energy introduced a radical innovation in wind technology that just brought a much-needed breath of fresh air to the industry. The Tunisian company created a bladeless wind turbine which draws inspiration from the design of a ship’s sails.

Instead of harvesting wind energy with rotating blades, this turbine uses a sort of round sail held in a frame like a flat satellite dish. As the wind pushes on it, the dish oscillates in a back and forth motion, which allows the conversion of the majority of the wind’s kinetic energy into mechanical energy through the use of pistons. These pistons are connected to a hydraulic system that converts mechanical energy into hydraulic pressure and then into electricity.

This turbine brings along a lot of innovations. It:

  • Is half the cost of a typical wind turbine
  • Is quieter than traditional models
  • Harnesses the power without hurting birds
  • Harvests about 80 percent of the available wind energy, which is 2.3 times more efficient than a traditional bladed turbine.
  • Reduces the amount of energy lost through poor aerodynamics and discards unnecessary structural elements such as the blades, hub and gear box.

This zero blade technology is no doubt a cool concept with impressive efficiency and low cost. Saphon Energy is said to be in talks with a number of potential manufacturing partners.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. You can also find Nidhi on Google+.

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One thought on “Bladeless Turbine Harvests Wind Energy 2.3X More Efficiently Than Bladed Turbines

  1. Liuk49
    January 31, 2014 at 10:08 am

    80% efficiency seems more than optimistic, the hydraulic to electrical conversion as itself is less than this, probably in the range from 65% to 75%, a figure of 50% seems more realistic and still optimistic to me.

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