World War II veteran Raymond Green, an 89 year old resident of Jackson, California, has created a working prototype of a "bladeless" wind turbine which is bird and bat-friendly, and very quiet in operation. Though still in development at present, Green intends his design to be produced in various sizes, from smaller personal versions to much larger turbines which could be implemented in wind farms.

The Compressed Air Enclosed Wind Turbine weighs 45 lb (20 kg) overall, while the turbine assembly itself measures 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter and the wind sock which surrounds it has a diameter of 31 inches (78 cm) at its widest point. Green explains that unlike traditional three-blade turbines, which can kill birds and bats as they rotate at high speed, his prototype sports no external moving parts, but houses its blades safely within the unit.

In order to test the prototype, Green affixed it to the roof of his truck and drove around, producing enough power to light a bulb.

The prototype’s patented "Inner Compression Cone Technology" draws in wind through its wide entrance, pushing it into the more confined space where the turbine blades are located. Green claims that this system can produce double the output of a typical turbine, even when placed closer to the ground than is usual - an impressive increase indeed, and we're keen to see some hard figures on this as the project matures.

The same wind compression tech is also responsible for enabling the turbine's hidden blades to be shorter than is customary, and this renders it significantly quieter in operation, when compared to a traditional wind turbine.

The Compressed Air Enclosed Wind Turbine was created at an estimated cost of US$550 and in order to bring a product to market, Green has teamed up with Sigma Design Company. The process of perfecting the design and manufacturing is expected to take up to two years.

The short promo video below sheds some more light on the project.

Source: Catching Wind Power, via TreeHugger