New wind turbines without blades and rotors could improve the efficiency of capturing energy from the wind and change the face of the industry.

Conventional wind turbines work by harnessing the kinetic energy of the wind to spin propeller-type blades at low torque. The blades rotate a shaft connected to a generator, which makes electricity. It’s a rather simple process but it’s not the most efficient way of generating the power that we need. Saphon Energy believes that it has a new technology which can change that.

The company has developed “Zero-Blade” wind turbines which operate without the typical blades, rotors, or gearboxes. The Zero-Blade design is inspired by sailboats, as turbine blades are replaced by a giant sail which harnesses the wind by following a non-rotational back and forth motion. According to the Saphon Energy website, this allows for the conversion of the captured kinetic energy into mechanical energy using pistons which creates hydraulic pressure. This pressure can either be stored in hydraulic accumulator or used to make electricity via a hydraulic motor and a generator.

Saphon’s studies project that the new technology could be 2.3 times more efficient than today’s conventional wind turbines while cutting costs by some 45 percent. In addition, it could eliminate the so-called “Wind Turbine Syndrome” reported by some residents living near or under wind turbine installations. If the studies hold true in the real world, wind farms could look a lot different in a few short years.

Check out a video of the technology from Saphon Energy:

[via Energy Matters]

Image Source: Saphon