I think this is quite an ingenious new direction to take wind turbines as there is a lot of energy to be harvested from winds at high altitudes. If this technology proves itself it could be a real breakthrough for places where there is not a lot of ground space for turbines, but there is still quite a bit of wind. I will be curious to see how it fares in the Alaska test.
I wonder how they will keep airplanes from hitting the tethers as they might be hard to see. It would be good if they could put a net on both ends of the tunnel to prevent bird deaths. Some birds fly that high.
I also wonder about the vector of force on the tethers at such high angles of elevation. As wind speed increases, the altitude of the turbine would decrease leaving the leeward tethers hanging slack. But I'm sure they have thought this out.
Many areas in the world are remote, windy and have no fossil fuels.
According to the video on their site, this generates twice the power of regular wind turbines. How does the cost compare? Currently, wind is more expensive than solar. All clean sources are more expensive than dirty, in dollars anyway.
If it works, will companies and governments invest?
Imagine being able to illegally download a physical product the same way you can with music and videos. That’s basically what’s happening with 3D printing and digital manufacturing, with huge repercussions in the intellectual property domain.
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