25 Apr '12, 3pm

Inflatable high-altitude wind turbine = double the power at half the cost:

© Altaeros Energies The test of a scaled-down prototype of a new type of floating wind turbine that uses a helium-filled shell demonstrated that it not only works as planned, but that it can also produce twice the power of turbines mounted at conventional tower height. During the test, the Altaeros Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) was able to climb to 350 feet high, generate considerable power, and then land in an automated cycle. The device uses a helium-filled, inflatable shell to enable it to ascend to high altitudes, which give it access to stronger and more consistent winds than tower-mounted turbines, and the generated power is sent to the ground via tethers, which also hold the device steady "For decades, wind turbines have required cranes and huge towers to lift a few hundred feet off the ground where winds can be slow and gusty. We are excited to demonstrate that moder...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/wind-technology/inflatable-high...

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