High altitude wind power systems continue to be explored with new systems and new approaches. The latest comes from Altaeros Energies, who recently tested the Altaeros Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT), a prototype 35-foot diameter, helium-filled, tethered structure with an onboard turbine. The prototype turbine is able to be transported and deployed from a trailer, which makes it potentially very useful for use at remote locations.
Using a Southwest Skystream turbine, the test model of the AWT was flown to an altitude of 350 feet where it produced more than twice the power as what is generated at a conventional tower height. The company is interested in developing high-altitude wind resources at elevations over 1,000 feet (over 300 meters) above the ground, where the winds are stronger and more regular.
According to the company, "The Altaeros AWT will displace expensive fuel used to power diesel generators at remote industrial, military, and village sites. In the long term, Altaeros plans to scale up the technology to reduce costs in the offshore wind market."
written by Robert, June 11, 2012
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