Bladeless wind turbines far from becoming gold standard in wind energy

The mention of a wind turbine conjuring up an image of a large pinwheels spinning all day long could soon be a thing of the past. The first generation of electrically powered wind turbines could soon make way for quieter and more compact counterparts. Bladeless wind turbines are about to throw up a massive opportunity across the world – an opportunity in which innovation is front and center.

According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global bladeless wind turbines market is projected to show healthy growth through the coming decade and many new companies – mainly startups – are expected to bring about a massive change to the way the competitive landscape is currently arranged. The market is currently led by Vortex Bladeless, a Spain-based company, which already holds a sizeable first-mover advantage over other relatively new entrants. However, how companies are able to build their competitive plans will define which company leads the market in the next ten years.

According to an article in the MIT Technology Review, the global wind power sector raked in just short of US$100 bn in the form of investments in 2014. That number is only likely to soar further in the short term. And this also means a chance that companies in the bladeless wind turbine market cannot afford to let go of.

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Here are two examples of bladeless wind turbines on which several future concepts could be based:

Saphon Energy’s Sail-inspired Wind Turbines Target Developing Countries

Wind energy researchers in Tunisia struck upon the idea of creating a novel bladeless wind turbine when they looked at the way sails used wind to give ships a thrust. The result: Saphon Energy claims its wind turbine is decidedly quieter and safer (read bird-friendly) than conventional wind turbines. The company also says that the output of these wind turbines is greater than the conventional wind turbines that use blades to harness power from the wind. These turbines reportedly capture two times the wind energy harnessed by traditional wind turbines.  With a wind energy conversion percentage standing at about 80, the company says that the product is just the solution cash-strapped yet energy-hungry developing nations could be looking for.

Bladeless wind-turbines vortex

The company has already planned the deployment of its bladeless wind turbines in India in partnership with a firm in South India.

With an Early Mover Advantage, Vortex Bladeless Ready to Take its Expertise to the World

Spanish crowd-funded project, Vortex Bladeless, has made the headlines for creating wind turbines that look like giant reeds rhythmically rocking in the air. The turbines, which capture vorticity (a term used to describe the spinning motion of wind), have caught the interest of investors and other wind energy experts alike. However, despite some experts expressing doubts about the efficiency of the new design, the company is already looking at offshore wind energy installations as a massive opportunity for growth. The company’s industrial-use model is slated to hit the commercial market by 2018.

Although the bladeless wind turbines market can currently be described as being in its nascent stages, this scenario is set for a radical change. TMR says that we will soon see companies feverishly competing on both efficiency and innovation in the next two to three years.