Solar Aero Develops Bladeless, Tesla-Inspired Wind Turbine

photo fuller wind turbine bladeless
Credit: Solar Aero.

Granted, this doesn't look like much. This wind turbine, developed by Solar Aero Research of Greenville, New Hampshire, doesn't have blades. It doesn't look like a wind turbine, with majestic white arms spinning in the blue sky. Maybe that's a little biased of a statement. But wind turbines can often spark "Not In My Backyard" complaints about noise, along with concerns over bird kills (and aesthetics). It's unclear if this one will be aesthetically pleasing to your neighbors. They probably won't hear it though, and it can't chop up birds or bats, as far as I can tell. Did I mention it was inspired by Nikola Tesla's steam turbine?Solar Aero has patented the Fuller Wind Turbine, based on a patent issued to Tesla in 1913, according to Alternative Energy News and other sources.

Officials with Solar Aero, a "nonprofit alternative energy research organization, dedicated to energy independence and development of renewable resources," say the patent was modified for wind generation applications. The model is completely enclosed, with a screened inlet and outlet.

photo solar aero tesla turbine prototype
Credit: Solar Aero.

The turbine's only rotating part is a turbine-driveshaft-alternator assembly, which cuts down on maintenance.

The company says the Fuller can deliver power at a cost comparable to coal-fired power plants, or about 5 cents per kilowatt hour, GizMag says.

Pricing and other details haven't been announced yet. The Fuller is still in development. I wonder how this model could/would compete against traditional systems, whether they be vertical or horizontal. It's sure to spark opinions and maybe critics, based on the old but improved design.

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