Recent howling winds have been like sweet music to one local company, which says its new vertical wind turbine is substantially more efficient than traditional propeller designs.

Officials at Terra Moya Aqua Inc. (search) unveiled their new turbine Friday, saying the design already had attracted interest from both domestic and foreign buyers.

"We have people nationally and internationally who want to buy this turbine now," said Ron Taylor, TMA's founder and chief executive officer.

Company officials said traditional propeller-driven turbines (search) are able to convert 25 percent to 40 percent of wind power into transmittable energy. But TMA's design is 43 percent to 45 percent efficient, creating up to 80 percent more power from the same wind.

That power is generated even though the blades are moving slower than on traditional propeller models, meaning the turbines are less noisy and less dangerous to birds, the company said. And since they stand no taller than 96 feet, the turbines can be used in industrial areas where taller propeller-driven models are not allowed.

Former Gov. Jim Geringer (search), who serves on TMA's board of directors, said the design improvements could help persuade doubters of wind's potential.

"To some people, wind is a four-letter word," Geringer said. "With what we're talking about here, it's anything but a four-letter word."