A new turbine that uses no blades could make alternative energy sources economically competitive and be available for use in homes and small businesses within a few years.

Utah-based International Automated Systems Inc. announced in early August that they were bringing the product to market, claiming that it could spur a revolution in energy.

Rather than relying on blades to spin a turbine cylinder, IAS’s Propulsion Turbine utilizes a rocket nozzle and, unlike traditional turbines, can run on liquids or vapours instead of just steam.

The design makes the unit perfect for such things as geothermal and biomass energy production.

In addition, the units have one-tenth the production cost of traditional turbines and require less maintenance.

Overall, this could make alternative energy competitive with fossil fuels. The company also believes the unit could help in the production of hydrogen fuel, possibly moving forward the arrival of fuel cells from 2020 to 2010.

A demonstration system should be operational within a few months.