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

Science & Tech  (tags: concept, energy, environment, interesting, investigation, NewTechnology, performance, research, science, study, technology )

- 160 days ago -
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....

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Brad Hunter (23)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 8:04 am
this is a con

Jason R. (57)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 9:58 am
How is this a con?

John S. (297)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 10:11 am
A law in physics called Betz’s law, published in 1919 by German physicist Albert Betz, calculates the maximum power that can be extracted from the wind by a wind turbine, independent of its design. Incredibly, Saphon Energy claims that the efficiency of their Saphonian turbine exceeds the Betz limit. With a claim like that, this is certainly an intriguing technology, but only time will tell. The company is now looking for manufacturing partners, and is hoping to bring their technology to the market by 2014. - See more at:

Kamia T. (66)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 11:01 am
I would LOVE to see anything that was affordable to harness the winds around here. At ground we normally have 20 mph most afternoons, but the cost of raising a traditional turbine is more than it would be to pay off my mortgage. The on-going problem in getting renewable energy adopted!

Dave C. (211)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 12:10 pm

Jordan G. (27)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 12:28 pm
Here's the flaw in so much marketing an advertising: 1. Assume it is ZERO percent more efficient, unlike their claim. 2. Assume, as they claim, it is less expensive. 3. It doesn't kill birds (or eagles, specifically). 4. It can be used as a supplement for household energy generation.


I haven't checked into whether Betz's law is still good physics -- plenty of alleged constants and theories are revised / corrected / and even "overturned" over the decades ... but it doesn't matter -- a 10% improvement would be enough.

First you have to look at this the correct way. There's plenty of money in it, etc.

Jordan G. (27)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 12:36 pm
OK. I just read a description and analysis of Betz's Law. Many differences here. It's easy to "claim" that it exceeds the co-efficient ... but it's comparing apples to a tuna sandwich. You could start with the infinite blade section or even the idea that this is not a wind turbine at all -- it's really more like a water wave turbine based upon using modified bungee cords off a multi-sectioned cam. The efficiency is lost in the cord but required for stability. Of course, that can be overcome with a theoretical (infinite) number of flywheels ... still, this is a question of UNNECESSARILY questionable marketing. It's worth following.

Birgit W. (140)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 1:41 pm
Interesting, thanks for sharing.

Roger Garin-michaud (61)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 2:04 pm
noted, thanks

Nelson Baker (0)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 3:57 pm
Anything that sounds too good to be true........

Jamie Clemons (280)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 5:35 pm
Sounds a bit hard to believe. I love the idea of wind energy, but I have heard all sorts of radical design schemes. Vertical turbines and all other sorts of ideas. Maybe some of them actually work, but unless they have proof stick to the traditional idea.

Frans Badenhorst (546)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 10:02 pm
...:).....thanks for all the interest and opinions and enthusiastic response.....I think this particular works (but then, I am an eternal optimist) - I would say a more effective blade is that of a conventional "windmill" - multiple blades (I would say more than 12 on a single "wheel") - it is effective and has been proven to work in VERY low velocity wind and also, it is VISIBLE......

Jeanne Young (19)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 10:57 pm
I am WAY too much of a physics/engineering/tech dolt to have an opinion on whether it works as advertised - But being NEAR a wind harvest that doesn't dismantle hapless birds, and.or drive the local fauna out with its noise - WOW

A F. (129)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 1:17 am
thank you

Fi T. (16)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 3:27 am
The direction to develop for the sake of all the living lives

Gloria picchetti (287)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 5:07 am
I knew it was only a matter of time before we could have wind power and protect birds also.

Miranda Parkinson (9)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 5:31 am

Rosemary H. (35)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 6:11 am
I wish everyone was aware of the truths I'm unearthing for a public enquiry against proposed wind farms! With global warming being so serious, we need to invest the money going into these windmills into technology that really delivers the goods! (And yes, there are better technologies out there!)

Rosemary H. (35)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 6:13 am
I'll just quote one fact because I've got to get back to work on this. The wind is intermittent. Too little and the blades don't turn - like yesterday - snow and not a breath of wind. Too much and the turbines are switched off. So where does the power come from when the turbines aren't working? From fossil-fuel power stations that pollute MORE when they are starting up than when running all the time! What's more, the turbines Consume Energy from the grid at these times!

I know nothing about this new idea, but conventional wind 'power' is a scam that only exists because of the subsidies!

Rosemary H. (35)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 6:16 am
I've just visited the site. Yes, I see some advantages, but it's still an intermittent source of power.

Birgitta S. (221)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 7:53 am
WOWEE! KIITOS 4 THIS, FRANS~~ (Even though im Definitely NOT any kind of engineer to understand this PROPERLY. )

Jon T. (59)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 9:04 am
Worth exploring and some better research models being developed to properly test this but it's very hard ro say from this that the technology would deliver on all the claims.

Rosemary H - I suggest you look at a few more objective sites for your research and "truths" you're "unearthing" as you will get rightly shot down if you just spout those old chestnuts of the anti renewables campaigners.

There is significant variability already in every decent electricity grid because the demand is inherently very variable, meaning back up and storage methods are already needed. Wind turbines only provide limited extra variability to the system and the supply from them is actually fairly predictable in advance. You have to get above 20% or more wind energy before the grid system needs additional back up and energy storage options.

gabriele jefferson (148)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 9:23 am
cool, thx

Rosemary H. (35)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 9:59 am
Jon T, Ha! I knew someone would say something! ;-)
We've been so misled by wind farm promoters into believing what they want us to think, and they often have cosy relationships with politicians.

So the truths I'm unearthing have quotes round them, do they? Well, they turn up thick and fast but I haven't time to describe them all here - just too many. However you could please explain why you think turbines produce electricity all the time, or why their back-up stations don't pollute?

Rosemary H. (35)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 10:28 am
Jon, your sketchy 'explanation' above needs qualifying further. What is this green renewable back-up system yo have in mind, please? Do you work for the wind industry?

Rosemary H. (35)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 10:32 am
Here’s something to think about.

"Europe should scrap its support for wind energy as soon as possible to focus on far more efficient emerging forms of clean power generation including solar thermal energy," one of the world’s most distinguished scientists said.... Professor Jack Steinberger, a Nobel prize-winning director of the CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva, said that wind represented an illusory technology — a cul-de-sac that would prove uneconomic and a waste of resources in the battle against climate change.

“Wind is not the future,” he told the symposium of Nobel laureates at the Royal Society. Instead, he said, technologies such as solar thermal power — for which parabolic mirrors reflect the Sun’s rays to generate heat and electricity — represent a more promising way of supplanting fossil fuels. “I am certain that the energy of the future is going to be thermal solar,” he told The Times. “There is nothing comparable. The sooner we focus on it the better.”


Carol Dreeszen (366)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 11:01 am
Amazing! I wonder how well it would sustain in winds of 40 to 70 mph or more and for how long though! It's not uncommon for us to have a minimum of 40 mph and up when we have wind.

Jon T. (59)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 11:33 am
Rosemary H - I put the words in quotes as they were direct quotes from your post. You on the other hand have tried putting words I never said into my mouth. Not an honest way of dealing with people.

Wind turbines don't run all the time, I never said they did. I said their output can be predicted and managed in a balanced electricity grid in the same way that very variable demand for electricity has to be predicted and managed in a balanced electricity grid.

I don't work for the wind industry. Making that sort of accusation is also a dishonest way of dealing with people who don't share your view.

A balanced portfolio of renewable energy is the way forward, mixing onshore and offshore wind, biomass (next generation advanced technologies that don't compete with food crops), anaerobic digestion of waste to give biogas, solar PV and themal technologies (where the conditions are suitable for them), geothermal where suitable, hydroelectric - macro and micro and including pumped storage, etc.

Some of these will provide baseload, some will be intermittent and some can be used for back up.

Freya H. (300)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 11:59 am
If this really works, and is feasible, then companies definitely need to invest in this. I have seen another alternative design, a spinning column with many vertical blades.

As for wind energy being intermittent - that's why you need to store some. That's why we have batteries and capacitors.

Rosemary H. (35)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 12:10 pm
Jon, I do not deal with people dishonestly! I used quotes to answer you only because I thought that was the way you were treating me.

As for your comment about working for the wind industry, that often turns out to be the case with wind supporters who talk about technology, so it is a reasonable question to ask. Where I live, people who like wind turbines are extremely thin on the ground. However, if you worked for the industry, you would be in a better position to describe this technology in full for me to know what to think about it. As it is, coming from a message board from someone who finds fault and is none too polite about it, it will soon be forgotten unless verified from external sources.

I do normally have a very open mind of all sorts of subjects. This used to include wind farms, but the more I learn, the more I expect the public enquiry to throw out the applications.

The other sources of energy you mention sound fine to me, but you have ignored this quote: “Wind is not the future,” coming from a winner of the Nobel Prize.


Jordan G. (27)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 12:25 pm
TO EVERYONE: Here is the one great truth: There is no one great truth. Ta-da!

In other words, wind (where useful) + solar (where useful) + other (where useful) + geothermal (where useful) +++ = sustainable power.

Of course the great thermodynamic problem is this: no matter what you do, the earth DOES NOT HAVE A CHIMNEY. So even fusion -- which is likely to become possible -- will not solve the problem, though it will provide enough power for the burgeoning population and it will be more effective and less polluting than present systems.

Rosemary -- your argument is primarily financial and probably correct, but that doesn't detract from the physics or the reduction in pollution. Also, since we are not yet at a place where we can replace fossil fuels 100%, using wind for certain applications -- even if more expensive -- does -- triple net -- reduce pollution for the times it is activated.

To use my previous analogy: Rosemary's argument is an apple -- primarily financial. Jon's is primarily physics -- a tuna sandwich.

And harmony is restored to the world.

Play nice.

Rosemary H. (35)
Thursday February 13, 2014, 1:59 am
Thanks for this, Jordan!. Yes, i do defend myself if I feel under attack and Jon could have expressed his viewpoint far more politely, However I dislike Internet fights and don’t want to find it continues.

However I didn’t respond last night because I’d discovered the link in the following post.... and promptly sent it to my AM (Welsh Assembly Member) He is an utterly dedicated opponent of wind farms, and will put it to very good use.

Note, I’m not a Nimby because the whole of England and Wales, plus concern for Scotland and other countries, is a very large back yard!

Rosemary H. (35)
Thursday February 13, 2014, 2:01 am
It’s happened again! Every time someone has a go at me for ‘tilting at windmills’ I go on line and find yet more extremely interesting facts... This article is based on facts published by the wind industry itself.

At times a fifty million pound windfarm produces enough electricity to boil 43 kettles!!!

No matter where the rest of our electricity comes from, it has to work remarkably hard to make up for shortfalls like that!

Jordan G. (27)
Thursday February 13, 2014, 4:51 am
No worries ... my goal is just for us to learn from each other in peace.

Your articles, geopolitical and financial, make an economic argument (some might argue only in the short run -- but the jury is out and humanity lacks the wisdom to be willing to picture the long-term reality for any strategy which "gores their particular ox), but money can't defeat physics -- nor do I think that was your intention.

Wind may be a financial scam in your countries for several reasons. In the U.S., wind has gained some traction -- with some significant subsidies and plenty of detractors, including environmentalists, but, at the same time, wind does create electricity. That's a fact of physics. Having off-shore farms here creates hatred which would impress even soccer fans.

Again, the financial numbers in your post -- such as "fifty million pound windfarm produces enough electricity to boil 43 kettles!!!" -- even if accurate -- have no basis in physics so I urge you and all others to separate the issues. And, perhaps, to spend some time with the pure physics. Politicians can make the sun not shine.

Rosemary H. (35)
Thursday February 13, 2014, 3:27 pm
Jordan, I appreciate your courtesy, This is how internet debating ought to be. It's late and I'll be off to bed soon, so I 'll just state that the figures about the £50,000,000 wind farm and the 43 kettles came straight from figures released by the wind farm industry itself. It may not match your knowledge of physics, but I can't delve deeper into it 5 minutes before bedtime.

I'll see how much time I have tomorrow.

Rosemary H. (35)
Friday February 14, 2014, 1:31 am
I’m tempted to comment that if the operators of a £50,000,000 wind farm with conventional blades can admit its output can drop so low it could only boil 43 kettles, and these bladeless turbines are 2.3 times more efficient, then if they have a bad day they might only boil just over 100 kettles!

Sorry...couldn’t resist! ;)

Rosemary H. (35)
Friday February 14, 2014, 1:34 am
Seriously, one of my regular routes goes past some wind farms with tall turbines. You notice more than half are standing idle. Next time - more than half are standing idle. Again - more than half are standing idle, and so on... and so on... and so on... This is in all kinds of weather. It would be strange if you didn’t start to ask questions....

I like the idea of biomass, also we shouldn’t overlook thorium, and I’m not going to ignore the opinion of Jack Steinberger, a scientist with the Nobel prize to his credit, who says: ‘Wind is not the future.’ He considers solar to be the way forward and has ideas to circumvent our variable amounts of sunshine by installing solar panels in the Sahara and piping the electricity to Europe.

Rosemary H. (35)
Friday February 14, 2014, 4:13 am
Here's another great idea, copied straight from info to be presented at the aforementioned Public Enquiry.

"Energy from Waste (EfW) – the principal purpose of the combustion of waste, or similar processes (for example pyrolysis or gasification) is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill in accordance with the
Waste Hierarchy45 and to recover energy from that waste as electricity or heat. Only waste that cannot be re-used or recycled with less environmental impact and would otherwise go to landfill should be used for energy recovery. The energy produced from the biomass fraction of waste is renewable."

The organisation responsible is identifiable only by initials...more later, I expect.

Rosemary H. (35)
Friday February 14, 2014, 4:14 am
The above - Powys County Council.

Sergio Padilla (62)
Friday February 14, 2014, 8:14 am

Rosemary H. (35)
Saturday April 12, 2014, 1:59 pm
It's happened... I had my say at the public enquiry and I certainly wasn't shot down. I noticed the body language of the wind farm representatives, sitting through an evening session because they were paid to do it, and it contrasted with the body language of the inspector, taking close note of what people had to say.

The session was open to people both for and against the wind factories, but every single person in the hall was dead against them for all sorts of reasons. I have since discovered just how destructive turbines really are to birds and bats, and about the rare earth elements inside them, which are really toxic...No more now, though I will explain this in due course.
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