World to witness new record for highest airborne wind turbine
- 31 March 2014
Altaeros’ Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) will float 1,000 feet about ground, over 275 feet higher than the current record holder for airborne wind turbines, the Vestas V164-8.0-MW.
Funded by Alaska Energy Authority’s Emerging Energy Technology Fund with additional support from RNT Associates International Pte Limited, the 18-month project is set to revolutionize wind energy development.
By using a helium-filled, inflatable shell, airborne turbines can reach a higher altitude than their onshore equivalents.
At the higher altitude the turbines have the potential to access wind currents which are stronger and more consistent, and these can then harnessed for greater electricity production, ensuring that wind energy output is significant and powerful.
The electricity is sent down to the ground via high-strength tethers which also keep the airborne turbine steady, where it will be based at a site south of Fairbanks, Alaska.
Furthermore, this new wind energy design is devoid of any of the traditional problems which beset onshore wind turbines. “The BAT can be transported and setup without the need for large cranes, towers, or underground foundations that have hampered past wind project,” Ben Glass, Altaeros Chief Executive Officer affirmed.
Altaeros Energies, which was founded at MIT, is committed to working with communities in remote locations who are often forced to rely on fossil fuels for their electricity. By designing the BAT, the wind energy company hopes to generate sufficient renewable energy for the US$17 billion remote power and microgrid market whose power needs are predominantly met by diesel generators.
Image by Altaeros Energies Inc
By Alana Ryan