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.
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.
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.
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?
Cell tower? I was thinking Wi-Fi for all..... Don't you love innovation? Well it's nice to look at. I would worry about this project though. I would hate to have this thing land on my roof, because strong winds tore it of the tether.
Warren, the target production model is 100kW, which is on the order of the oil energy output of one of the common stripper wells, which are decidedly non-mobile and require a significant logistical chain from rock to generator. You did observe that the target market is mobile and remote sites?
To Ironhorse- I am afraid I mixed several things together. One was the comment about a 40 ton weight in the air. Second was maintenance cost of a larger commercial device. Third was the value of the output of the large windmills not being adequate to support the maintenance. For small job sites or multiple-family areas the smaller unit refered to in the article could be a real blessing. I assume maintenance would be minimal, although this might not be a reality until the second or third generation.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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