Saphonian Wind Turbine
Address : 3, impasse n°3, Avenue Azouz Rebai, El Manar 2, BP
2092 Tunis, TUNISIA
Office : +216 71 886 808
Fax : +216 71 887 068
For further enquiries : firstname.lastname@example.org
the Betz Limit
For the same swept area (by a wind turbine), the wind energy
captured by the sail-shaped body of the Saphonian is twice as
higher as that of conventional wind turbine. By replacing the
blades' rotor by a compact sail-shaped body (curved) that enjoys
high aerodynamic coefficients (Cl and Cd), the Saphonian has set
itself free from the insurmountable Betz limit.
Empirical performance tests have shown that the Saphonian
efficiency level is 2.3 times as high as that of the bladed wind
turbine on account of the following:
- For the same swept area (by a wind turbine), the wind energy
captured by the Saphonian is twice as higher as that of
conventional wind turbine.
- The Saphonian has eliminated most of aerodynamic and
mechanical losses, originally due to the use of blades and
gearbox and to the characteristics of the rotational motion.
Over the last two years, Saphon’s team has designed, developed
and tested number of operating prototypes. The latest empirical
tests made on a 300-500 Watt prototype (diameter of 120 cm)
confirmed and validated the theoretical assumptions. This
allowed us to optimize the initial design and further improve
the hydro-mechanical performance. A second generation prototype
is under tests.
Sail-inspired turbine promises cheaper wind energy
sail-inspired wind turbine may capture more energy
[TUNIS] A Tunisian invention that harvests wind
energy through adesign inspired by sailboats promises cheaper,
more efficient wind energy.
The bladeless wind turbine, the Saphonian, named after the wind
divinity that was worshipped by the ancient Carthaginians, also
promises to be more environmentally friendly than existing wind
turbines that produce noise and kill birds through their blade
Instead of rotating blades, the Saphonian's sail-shaped body
collects the kinetic energy of the wind, Anis Aouini, the
Saphonian's inventor, told SciDev.Net.
He explained that the resulting mechanical energy moves pistons
which generate hydraulic pressure that can be stored in a
hydraulic accumulator or converted into electricity.
"This is not the first bladeless wind turbine, but we thought
outside the box: the initial idea came from sails — the only
human system that can capture and convert the bulk of the wind's
power into mechanical energy," said Aouini.
An average wind turbine captures only 30 to 40 per cent of the
wind's kinetic energy, while the Saphonian can capture up to 80
per cent, according to Aouini.
Hassine Labaied, chief executive of Saphon Energy, the start-up
energy company established to get the turbine to market, said
the Saphonian reduces the aerodynamic and mechanical energy
losses associated with rotating-blade turbines.
"Our second generation prototype is 2.3 times more efficient,
and costs nearly half the price of its predecessors
[conventional wind turbines]. It discards the most expensive
components in a traditional wind turbine, which are the blades,
hub and gearbox," said Labaied.
Aouini and Labaied patented the technology in Tunisia in
September 2010, and received an international patent in March
2012. Saphon Energy is now looking for a partnership with a
manufacturer to deploy the technology worldwide.
"We are negotiating with a number of international companies
that produce renewable energy technology, and will finalise this
by the end of this year," said Labaied. He estimated that it
would take up to two years until the commercial product reaches
Ali Kanzari, a renewable energy expert and director-general of
Solar Energy Systems, told SciDev.Net that the Saphonian "seems
to be a radical and economically viable alternative to bladed
turbines". However, he added that "the manufacturing step is
important as it will determine how the market will accept it".
"The electricity produced through wind in Tunisia represents
five per cent of total electricity production in the country,"
Ayadi Ben Aissa, former chief executive of the Tunisian Society
of Electricity and Gas (STEG), told SciDev.Net.
He said that using the Saphonian technology could produce up to
20 per cent of Tunisia's electricity from wind in the medium
FOR CONVERTING WIND ENERGY
Inventor: AOUINI ANIS M
Applicant: SAPHON ENERGY LTD
The invention consists of a system for
converting wind energy (SCEE) into mechanical and then
electrical energy. This system (SCEE) is not subject to the
theoretical Betz limit (59%). The system (SCEE) has a wheel (F)
equipped with a series of blades arranged all around it. The
wheel (F) turns in a pivoting connection about a fixed axle (L).
Set on the axle (L), a support (E) attaches the end plates of a
series of double-acting actuating cylinders (D). The cylinder
rods of the latter are in a ball jointed connection with the
body (A), the purpose of this being to offer the latter a
maximum degree of freedom in space. A rigid arm (C) is set on
one side of the wheel (F) and held on the other side, in a
pivoting connection, on a U-shaped section piece (B). Having a
circular satellite movement, the latter turns with the wheel (F)
while at the same time sliding over a peripheral region of the
body (A). When the wind blows against the body (A), the latter
pivots with the section piece (B) and pushes on the cylinder
rods of the actuating cylinders (D). Having a circular satellite
movement, the section piece (B) turns, sliding over a peripheral
region of the body (A), thus changing the fulcrum of the moment
of the resultant force of the wind (the pivot connection of the
section piece (B)) applied to the body (A). The cylinder rods of
the actuating cylinders (D) will therefore be pulled and pushed,
while at the same time having a cyclic translational movement.
Set on the axle (L), and a nacelle (J) chiefly contains a
hydraulic motor (H) and an electric generator (G), which can be
coupled via a speed multiplier. During the reciprocating
movements of the pistons of the actuating cylinders (D), a set
of valves allows for a one-way flow of hydraulic fluid inside
"out and back" hydraulic circuits either by pulling or pushing.
The "out and back" hydraulic circuits are also connected to the
hydraulic motor (H). To keep the system (SCEE) always facing
into the wind and allow it to pivot on the mast (1), it can be
orientated by a tail vane (K) which is fixed, via a support, to
the nacelle (J).
The invention description about this technique, is a system for
converting wind energy (CESG) into mechanical energy and then
This system of conversion of wind energy (CESG), described
below, is not subject to the theoretical limit of Betz (59%).
Therefore, this invention provides a performance much higher
than wind turbines currently in use.
System (WECS) has a wheel (F) with a series of blades arranged
around (see drawing N [deg.] L).
The wheel (F) is rotated in association pivot about an axis (L)
fixed, thanks to the kinetic energy of the wind through the
blades, providing the wheel (F) a mechanical energy of rotation.
Flush to the axis (L), a holder (E), rigid enough, secures the
plates (or the rear end) of a series of double-acting cylinders
The latter may consist of one or more double-acting cylinders
(see drawing 1M [deg.]1).
To simplify the present description, the system (WECS) has a
series of three double-acting cylinders.
Distribution and positioning of the series of double-acting
cylinders (D) on the bracket (E) to be assured of a well-defined
way to ensure a better functioning (See detail N [deg.] The
drawing N [ deg.] l).
The piston rods of the plurality of double-acting cylinders (D)
are connected with the ball joint housing (A) and that, in order
to provide the latter with a maximum degree of freedom in space,
allowing one movement and a more fluid into the wind (See detail
N [deg.] the drawing N [deg.] l) & (drawing N [deg.]7).
Said body (A) has a shape and surface property determined,
respectively to achieve a drag coefficient higher and a maximum
resultant force of wind captured.
In addition, the body (A) must have the lightest weight
For this case, and not limited to a portion of its surface may
be, for example, covered with veil (See drawing N [deg.]2).
In order to allow the wheel (F) to rotate freely and
independently of the body (A), its active surface (the surface
facing the wind) is kept constantly exposed to the wind (see the
front views of the drawings N [deg.]3, N [deg.]4, N [deg.] 5
& ??N [deg.]6).
The mountings of the piston rods of the double-acting cylinders
(D) on the body (A) to be set at the axis which coincides with
the direction of the vector of the resultant force of the wind
attacks the body (A) (See detail N [deg.] the drawing N [deg.]
A rigid arm (C) is recessed from one side to the wheel (F) and
maintained on the other side, pivotally connected to a profile
(B) U-shaped With a circular motion satellite, it turns,
therefore, with the wheel (F) while sliding on a peripheral area
of ??the body (A) (See drawing N [deg.]2).
In order to minimize the friction of the sliding profile (B),
the latter may be in contact with the sides of the peripheral
area of ??the body (A) via the rollers or the like.
In addition, the peripheral area of ??the body (A) must be
smooth enough and stiff enough.
When the wind acts on the body (A), the latter rotates under the
effect of the moment of the resultant force of the wind, as with
that of the pivot section (B) and the body (A) grows without
jamming through bonds ball, the stems of double acting cylinders
(D) that are present in the area diametrically opposite the rail
The rods double acting cylinders (D) present in the reverse zone
(zone side of the profile (B)) tend to be drawn (see drawing IM
Having a circular satellite movement, the profile (B) is rotated
while sliding on a peripheral area of ??the body (A), thereby
changing the pivot point of the resultant force of the wind (the
pivot connection of the profile (B)) which s' applied to the
The rods double acting cylinders (D) will, therefore, drawn and
pushed, while having a translational movement cycle (See
drawings N [deg.]3, N [deg.]4, N [deg.]5 & ??N [deg.]6).
Thus, wind energy captured by the wind body (A) is converted
into mechanical energy of translation of the piston at the
double-acting cylinders (D), thus creating pressure on the
The views from the front, left, top and perspective drawings N
[deg.]3, N [deg.]4, N [deg.]5 & ??N [deg.] 6 show the action
of the body (A) on the stems of double-acting cylinders (D) as
well as the behavior of the system (WECS) upwind for different
positions (0 [deg. ], 90 [deg.], 180 [deg.] & 270 [deg.]) of
the profile (B) on the peripheral area of ??the body (A).
A nacelle (D) is embedded to the axis (L).
This platform (J) contains mainly a hydraulic motor (H) and an
electrical generator (G), which can be coupled via a speed
multiplier (See drawing N [deg.] L).
During the back and forth movements of the pistons series double
acting cylinders (D), they grow hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic
circuit path (in red) convertible to either pulling or pushing,
and through a set of valves (see drawing N [deg.]7).
The latter also allows to suck the hydraulic fluid in the double
effect cylinders (D) through the hydraulic return circuit (blue)
and, in single direction "regardless of the motion by pulling or
The hydraulic circuit of the aisle (red) is connected to the
input of a hydraulic motor (H).
The back (blue) is also connected to the output of the hydraulic
motor (M) (see drawing N [deg.]7).
Thus, the flow of hydraulic fluid under pressure, is converted
into a rotational movement of the motor shaft (H), which is
connected to the axis of the electric power generator (G) via a
speed multiplier, generating so clean electricity (see drawing N
To allow for the wind direction kept the system (WECS), can be
equipped with a system of automatic orientation allowing it to
pivot on the mat (i) and keep the body (A) and the wheel (F )
continually face the wind, and this mode upstream or downstream.
In addition, the orientation can be achieved using a rudder (K),
well-defined dimensions, fixed through a medium, the nacelle (J)
(see drawing N [deg.] L).
In order to simplify the operation of the orientation system
(WECS) and not limited to the solution of the rudder (K) is in
this case taken as illustrative example.
Thus, wind energy captured by the body (A) is converted into
mechanical energy of translation and rotation, respectively, via
the rods of the set of cylinders (D) and the hydraulic motor
This mechanical energy is then converted into electrical energy
with the electric generator (G).
The link in this chain of energy conversion on the conversion of
mechanical energy into mechanical energy of translation of
rotation can be insured without limitation, via several other
mechanisms such as crank-connecting rod or other ...
As announced at the beginning of the technical description, the
system (WECS) is not subject to the theoretical limit of Betz
(16/27%) and provides a better yield of wind energy conversion.
The only component subject to the Betz limit, is that the wheel
(F) which has only a small surface area compared to the total
active surface system (WECS).
In addition, this wheel (F) only serves to change the position
of the profile (B) in a circular motion satellite and the energy
it captures is not required to consider the chain of energy
conversion described above, or in the final recovered energy.
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