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‘Bladeless’ Wind Turbine Spares Birds

‘Bladeless’ Wind Turbine Spares Birds

By Alyssa Danigelis, Discovery Channel

A World War II veteran built a prototype for a quiet, bladeless wind turbine shaped like a drum, designed to protect birds and bats from getting killed in it. This patented technology is called the Catching Wind Power Compressed Air Enclosed Wind Turbine, or just “awesome” for short.

BIG PICS: Wind Power Without the Blades

Raymond Green is an 89-year-old retired engineer and welder living in Jackson, Calif., who served in World War II. Green knew that traditional wind turbines have killed birds and bats (although a number of factors that include speed can play a factor). And he was aware of opposition to wind turbines because of the noise they make. Hoping to make a safer and more viable turbine, Green began prototyping.

His Catching Wind Power turbine resembles a large drum. Weighing 45 pounds, the $550 prototype mounts the 12-inch-diameter turbine behind a 31-inch windsock and inner compression cone, internalizing a ring of blades so that they’re inaccessible to birds, according to Green’s site. While technically there are blades, none of them are exposed. In addition, the lighter weight could lower transport and installation costs.

The idea is that the turbine could be produced in different sizes, according to Treehugger’s Derek Markham. They could range from ones for simple portable electronics recharging to massive units for wind farms. Green already patented the inner compression cone technology, and has tested it successfully on the road by attaching it to his truck.

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Green actively sought a veteran-run company to help him optimize and refine the turbine. Recently he hired the New Jersey-based manufacturer Sigma Design Company, whose owner Jerry Lynch is a U.S. Navy veteran. Together they plan to bring the wind turbine to the market.

“Every bungalow on the Jersey Shore could have a personal one on their roof, if we could make it attractive enough,” Lynch told the Daily Record’s Mark Spivey. Admittedly, I think mounting them as-is on towers would look ugly, but paint them bright colors and even the Jersey Shore crowd might snap them up.

Photo Credit: Catching Wind Power

 

 

Related:
Even Small Wind Turbines Lower Bat Activity by Half
How Much Power Will a Home Wind Turbine Produce?
Find a Wind Farm Community for You

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59 comments

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12:32AM PDT on Oct 3, 2013

Thanks - would be very interested to know if there's an update on this machine!

10:21AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

I just commented on the dish-shaped wind turbine, but this is really interesting - a Catching Wind Power Compressed Air Enclosed Wind Turbine! Who knows even more ideas to come yet.
Thank you Alyssa D., Molly and the Discovery Channel.

8:32PM PST on Feb 9, 2013

well that's a cool concept, thanks for sharing!!

11:09AM PST on Feb 8, 2013

Very exciting news. I hope he is able to market it successfully.

6:48PM PST on Feb 5, 2013

Great!

12:48PM PST on Feb 5, 2013

Such a marvelous invention! This will not only soothe our concerns for the beautiful birds and bats, but being economical it also shows that being merciful and kind actually pays off.

10:05AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

Excellent and inventive. Shows you're never too old to dream or have great thoughts. Bravo!

3:12AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

More creativity is needed........

3:11AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

Be creative...........

8:10AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Cool. It's good to see people are still playing around with making wind power better.

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