Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Buoyant Airborne Turbine

From Altaeros Energies:

Intended for niche markets, like rural areas and disaster zones. I don't know what it's maximum output is [Update 4/4: Altaeros tells me it's 30 kilowatts for their Alaska project], but the NY Times says it can power about a dozen homes at about 18 cents per kilowatt-hour.

I suppose in-town this would interfere with all the drones that will be delivering Amazon packages and assorted baked goods, but even in rural areas it might still have to contend with the Facebook drones and Google balloons. And someday space elevators. The 21st century is looking crowded already.

Aside: This is interesting, from the NY Times article:
With new technology allowing developers to build taller machines spinning longer blades, the industry has been able to produce more power at lower cost by capturing the faster winds that blow at higher elevations. This has opened up new territories, in places like Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, where the price of power from turbines built 300 feet to 400 feet above the ground can now compete with conventional sources like coal.

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