Here's a cool concept for wind energy: a turbine that doesn't have blades. What's so bad about blades? They can kill birds and bats and some people think they're too loud.
This turbine from Saphon Energy looks more like a flat satellite dish. The Saphonian is based on a boat sail. As the wind pushes on it, the dish oscillates a little bit back and forth. That motion drives small pistons connected to a hydraulic system. The kinetic energy captured can be stored or converted directly into electricity with a generator. Because there isn't a transmission, or a gearbox, the device is completely silent. And the lack of blades means fewer bird and bat deaths — perhaps none. Each dish harvests about 80 percent of the available wind energy, which is 2.3 times more efficient than a traditional bladed turbine.
Credit: Saphon Energy