I am highly skeptical about this project too. Not only I doubt the efficiency claims, but what I find absolutely impossible are the claims about scalability and cost. Saphon tells that mathematical models show the system is scalable to dimensions (or power?) of classical wind turbines. The biggest wind turbine has the diameter of 164m, and wind turbines with the diameter of 30m are already considered rather small. After seeing the latest Saphonian turbine model in works (it has about 1m in diameter), and seeing the eccentric forces it transmits to the mast, already at a rather mild wind, I have troubles imagining a dish of 2-3m, or even the same dish in a really strong wind. I do not believe there is an economical way to build a 30m dish or bigger.
They claim the Saphon turbine has 1.7 times the output of a regular wind turbine. I assume they speak about the same diameter. In that case, to achieve the power of a 30m diameter windmill, they would have to build a dish of 23m in diameter 30/sqrt(1.7) = 23. At the 164m windmill they would need a 126m dish. I would like to see them building it, and building it cheaper than the classical aerofoils. No way, on my mind.
EDIT: in some videos or documents they claim being 1.7 times more efficient, in others twice, and in an article at wamda.com
it is written it "would be 2.3 times more efficient than older models
". Even if we take the factor of 2.3, the 30m diametr would still correspond to a 20m dish, and the 164m diameter turbine to a 108m dish.
Watch for yourself the eccentric forces Saphon exercises on the support, and how the mini dish shakes with the mast in their newest video.
I have also troubles imagining how the dish could survive any stronger wind. Already this small one would be difficult to keep safe at a strong wind, let alone a dish of a bigger size. Unlike at aerofoils that you can position with the minimal air resistance, with the Saphon, you do not have much chance. Whether you position it frontally, sideways, or backwards, there will be an order of magnitude stronger forces being transferred on the construction, anyway.
Another huge problem would be the life-time - with all that vibrations, shaking, eccentricity, and huge forces acting on the construction, I do not believe its life expectancy could be anywhere close to the classical wind turbines and their generators that run pretty smoothly in comparison with this.
It is also funny in the documents published by Saphon, they speak about noise and vibrations being a huge problem at recent wind turbines. I simply do not believe the Saphonian turbine could be less noisy. I'd tell it will be the exact opposite.
Nevertheless, they now also claim that until 2017 they will build a windfarm of 50 Saphonian turbines in India, with the total output power of 1 MW. It is mentioned in the video, or also for example in this article from today: