Wind energy has the potential to power the world, and innovators are trying to find new technologies that harness the energy in the most efficient, cost effective way. Conventional bladed wind turbines are fantastic in theory, but in reality they do not always harness energy efficiently and can be prohibitively expensive.
Saphon Energy is one of the innovators looking to be a game changer. The company has designed a wind turbine that is markedly different than its predecessors. Their turbine, called the Saphonian, has no blades, no spinning parts, and is nearly silent. The turbine, inspired by the design and function of boat sails, does not move and passively captures wind energy, turning this energy into usable mechanical energy.
The Saphonian has demonstrated 2.3 times more energy efficiency than traditional bladed turbines and significantly reduces infrastructure costs.
Saphon’s radical design uses a framed round sail that oscillates as the wind pushes into it. The non-rotational oscillations, which shift back and forth, move tiny pistons which are hooked up to a hydraulic system. An accumulator then either stores the generated energy or uses a generator to convert it directly into electricity.
Saphon Energy patented their design in early 2012 and is looking for a partner to manufacture the Saphonian for global distribution.