HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog
Helium-Filled Wind Turbine Harvests High-Altitude Energy
3/31/2014

A company spun off from MIT research called Altaeros Energies has designed a helium-filled wind turbine that floats above the ground and harnesses high-altitude winds.  (Source: Altaeros Energies)
A company spun off from MIT research called Altaeros Energies has designed a helium-filled wind turbine that floats above the ground and harnesses high-altitude winds.
(Source: Altaeros Energies)

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
The new direction in turbines is up
Elizabeth M   3/31/2014 6:09:24 AM
NO RATINGS
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.

78RPM
User Rank
Gold
Aircraft
78RPM   3/31/2014 2:10:16 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Aircraft
NadineJ   3/31/2014 6:20:59 PM
NO RATINGS
You're right.  I'm sure they've worked it out.  An internship at SpaceX is a great way to learn how to solve problems that others are afraid to approach. 

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The new direction in turbines is up
NadineJ   3/31/2014 6:24:58 PM
NO RATINGS
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?

shehan
User Rank
Gold
Re: The new direction in turbines is up
shehan   3/31/2014 9:53:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Wow great idea to have a floating turbine which captures much energy than the ones we already have. Thanks for the great post

shehan
User Rank
Gold
Re: The new direction in turbines is up
shehan   3/31/2014 9:58:32 PM
NO RATINGS
@Elizabeth – yes it's a good way to capture some energy where there is very less land space. 

shehan
User Rank
Gold
Re: Aircraft
shehan   3/31/2014 10:00:35 PM
NO RATINGS
@78RPM – yes im sure they have some solutions for this. For planes and other flying objects you could have a flashing light to indicate there is obstruction ahead. 

shehan
User Rank
Gold
Re: Aircraft
shehan   3/31/2014 10:02:01 PM
NO RATINGS
@78RPM I am not quite sure how they have control of the altitude problem of the turbine as wind speed increase.  

shehan
User Rank
Gold
Re: Aircraft
shehan   3/31/2014 10:03:02 PM
NO RATINGS
@NadineJ – yes most companies don't come up with such innovative ideas, we could easily harvest some good renewable energy. 

shehan
User Rank
Gold
Re: The new direction in turbines is up
shehan   3/31/2014 10:04:53 PM
NO RATINGS
@NadineJ- a good way of saying it "all clean sources are more expensive than dirty". This might defiantly cost more as we are talking about a floating turbine. 

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
An Israeli design student has created a series of unique pieces of jewelry that can harvest energy from default movements of the body and even use human blood as a way to conduct energy.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Help us recognize engineers who are ahead of the trends and making big moves in the design engineering community.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 18 - 22, Embedded Software Development With Python & the Raspberry Pi
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service