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warren@fourward.com
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Re: Does it need a babysitter?
warren@fourward.com   5/10/2012 9:46:54 AM
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The other problem is maintenance.  The government funded windmills are largely laying fallow as the grants covered the windmill but not the maintenance.  The power generated must not be of much value.  Will this happen to these, too?

warren@fourward.com
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Airborne Turbine
warren@fourward.com   5/10/2012 9:43:57 AM
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If the size doubles, the weight quadruples, probably.   That would be a heavy payload for helium balloons. 

TJ McDermott
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Twice the power?
TJ McDermott   5/10/2012 12:23:08 AM
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Can we assume that statement is twice the power of an equally sized turbine?

The GE 1.5MW turbine has a nacelle / blade assembly weight of 92 tons.  Let's say the weight can be cut in half because the power is double at altitude.  Call it a nice round 40 tons for discussion sake.

The Air Force has an aerostat based radar system.  The aerostat is 186 feet long, 62 feet diameter, and lifts 2200 pounds.

Mr. Glass stated the system would be good for remote sites, and that makes a good deal of sense.  Places that need a reasonably portable power source will probably not need a megawatt of power.

But he also implied this system could replace conventional tower turbines.  I don't see that; something with the lift capacity of 40 aerostats would be necessary.

Helium is also a non-renewable resource; its price has steadily climbed.

Charles Murray
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Re: Does it need a babysitter?
Charles Murray   5/9/2012 7:52:00 PM
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Ann, the story describes this as a 35-foot scale prototype. How big would it be when it's scaled up?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Does it need a babysitter?
Ann R. Thryft   5/9/2012 3:28:28 PM
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Good questions, Rob. It's described as fully automated and for remote locations. That sounds like it doesn't need a babysitter, although obviously it would need occasional maintenance checks. As far as a rooftop, I don't know--this is a scaled prototype and not full size, so I guess it depends on the size and height of the roof.


Rob Spiegel
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Does it need a babysitter?
Rob Spiegel   5/9/2012 2:50:00 PM
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This is very impressive, Ann. Do you know if it needs a babysitter on the ground? Or is it fully automatic? I would imagine this would probably have to be situated in rural areas. But who knows. Maybe it could be situated on a rooftop in Manhattan.


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