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?
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.
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.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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