Are Floating Turbines The Future of Wind?

A new design in wind turbines can help make clean and renewable energy. The design of the turbine is to have it float in the wind.

Ben Glass and Adam Rein, graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have launched what they are calling altaeros. This is the first commercial turbine that is air borne.

The Buoyant Air Turbine has a shell that is filled with helium. This is the same material that is used to make blimps. The turbine is located 1,000 to 2,000 feet above the ground where it can catch strong winds.

The turbine can make double the amount of energy that tower mounted turbines are able to product. At the high this turbine is located the winds are at least five times stronger than these towers.

The hovering turbine is not going to be used to replace these mounted turbines but it will bring power to areas where they cannot be mounted or cannot afford to have them mounted.

The hovering turbine is expanding to areas that need new technology.

Traditional turbines are made from large amount of concrete and cranes are needed during their construction. This is difficult to do in many areas. The hovering turbine can be deflated and transported to any location. When the destination is reached the turbine is inflated and will rise into the air.

The hovering turbine is connected to three tethers on the ground which allows it to adjust to find the highest winds. The power the wind generates travels to the tethers and is then processed to microgrids.

The hovering turbine has anemometers to detect the highest wind speeds and allows the device to float in that direction. The turbine is also able to protect itself in harsh weather conditions.

This hovering turbine is going to be first used in areas that rely heavily on diesel generators. Tests sites are military bases, industrial areas, and rural communities. This device can also help power heavily populated areas including amusement parks, and sporting venues. This device is also being prepared to be released in emergency situations.

As of next year the turbine is scheduled to be released in Fairbanks, Alaska. It will be part of a 18 mount trail in this area. People in Alaska rely heavily on gas and diesel generators which costs them around $1 per kilowatt-hour of electricity they use. The turbine will use 30 kilowatts and drop the cost down to 18cents per kilowatt used.

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