Remember that Tesla turbine we wrote about two years ago? Or the Tesla turbine made out of a hard drive? Nikola Tesla patented these turbines back in 1913, but he wasn’t able to build them properly because the metals he could use at that time didn’t have the right thickness and quality.
A New Hampshire-based research company recently patented a bladeless wind turbine based on Tesla’s invention. The company is called Solar Aero and their product has only one rotating part – the driveshaft. More discs installed means more power. The inventor says that his turbine should be able to produce 10 kW without any problem.
Magnetic bearings are also a future feature of the wind turbine, reducing the unnecessary friction. Solar Aero’s wind turbine is benign to the wildlife, because it is contained inside a housing, and has a wire mesh that protects animals entering it accidentally. The turbine rotates with the wind, following its direction, to catch the best gusts.
Tesla turbines work on the principle of a fluid passing through very close discs and moving them by means of viscosity and the adhesion of the surface layer of the fluid.
Solar Aero’s turbine is also cheap to maintain, as “final costs will be about $1.50/watt rated output, or roughly 2/3 the cost of comparable bladed units.” Out of these final costs there are the operating costs, estimated to be about $0.12 /kWh.