Wind Power: A new turbine design

Solar Aero Research is a Greenville, New Hampshire non-profit that is conducting research in the areas of alternative energy, energy independence and development of renewable resources. The organization has won a patent on what they call the Fuller Wind Turbine, a new type of boundary-layer, bladeless wind-powered generator based on a 1913 Tesla patent that they have modified for wind generation applications.

According to Solar Aero, the completely enclosed design retains high efficiency ratings while avoiding such drawbacks of bladed turbines as noise, radar interference, visual pollution and wildlife injuries. With only one rotating component -- a turbine/driveshaft/alternator assembly -- and no heavily loaded Solar Aero's enclosed wind turbinebearings, the device is expected to deliver power at a cost comparable to coal-fired power plants.

The turbine itself has lower maintenance requirements than bladed turbines and, since all generation equipment can be located at ground level while the turbine is supported on magnetic bearings, the need for up-tower routine maintenance is eliminated. Reduced life-cycle costs make the unit desirable for urban rooftops and for use where support and maintenance infrastructure is limited.

The non-interfering nature of this design makes it suitable for erection near military surveillance and radar installations. And, of course, there are no blades to blenderize birds and bats, a big drawback of traditional wind generators.

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