Inflatable Wind Turbine

It’s called the Altaeros Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT).  It was designed by a group of engineers from Harvard and MIT in Massachusetts who call themselves Altaeros Energies.  Their companies main objective is to produce abundant, low-cost, renewable energy, and they are on the right track.

The Altaeros airborne wind turbine is a three-blade horizontal axis wind turbine that is in-cased in what looks like a cylindrical blimp with large open air-flow holes on either end of the inflatable device.

The inflatable part is, like a blimp, filled with helium, and is held in place and to the ground by strong cable wires that also dub as electric wires to transfer electricity from the turbine down to the ground level.

During a recent test the turbine was launched successfully 350 feet into the air, generated electricity, and landed all with an automated system.  The goal is to eventually launch the turbine around 1,000 feet in the air where wind speeds are higher.

The team is choosing to reach the high altitudes because the high wind speeds could reduce long-term costs of wind energy by more efficiently collecting strong winds with a single device as opposed to several ground based wind turbines collecting wind from much lower wind speeds.

Another perk of the AWT system is that is requires less maintenance than most modern wind turbines and it is easily constructed, and mobile, meaning it could potentially provide the necessary  power to select remote locations around the globe.

Altaeros Energies hopes to make the AWT commercially available as soon as possible.

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