DailyDirt: When The Wind Blows…
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Wind power is getting a bit of boost from various new technologies that allow turbines to capture higher altitude wind without building enormous and unsightly towering structures on the ground. There are plenty of airborne wind companies (eg. WindLift, SkySails, Sky Windpower, NTS, etc), as well as smarter ground-based generators that are aiming to provide cheaper and more reliable electricity. Check out a few of these links if you like the idea of the skies filled with drones, blimps, kites and other floating devices.
- Altaeros Energies has a floating wind turbine that should generate electricity at the cost of $0.18 per kilowatt-hour. The Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) is an inflatable, helium-filled ring with a turbine placed in the center. It has a capacity of 30 kilowatts, and it flies at an altitude of 300 meters. [url]
- Google’s Makani project generates electricity from high flying kites equipped with turbines that can circulate from 80 to 350 meters off the ground. These kites can capture more energy than traditional ground-based turbines, and they can be moved to different locations to maximize their wind collection. [url]
- Ground-based wind turbine generators haven’t changed that much over the last few decades, but they’re getting more cost competitive with fossil fuel generators (about $0.065 per kilowatt-hour). With sensors and battery storage systems, traditional generators can provide more consistent and reliable power to the grid. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
Filed Under: buoyant airborne turbine, energy, kites, makani, turbine generators, wind energy, wind power
Companies: altaeros energies, ge, google
Comments on “DailyDirt: When The Wind Blows…”
Not in the air
I can see covering every roof with solar collectors in combination with a couple or several helical fan wind turbines (HOA’s be damned), but filling airspace with all sorts of objects (especially with such low outputs) will seriously hamper our flying cars (when we finally get them).
I saw an article recently about solar generators (sorry I cannot find the link) that have smaller solar collectors running a generator with various sizes that might actually supply an entire home. One large or several smaller in everybodies yard will seriously reduce fossil fuel reliance.
I am looking forward to materials that will substitute for roofing shingles (sheets of plastic like stuff with embedded collectors), that have a like lifespan and cost. I have read about these, but not recently.
Obviously more development is needed, but patients is hard to come by. It makes me wonder how much interference is being deployed by whatever entrenched industry might have an interest in solar failure.
Critical mass of installations in all of these is necessary to get the costs down.
Re: Not in the air
Damn, patience, hard to come by in so many ways. Where is the edit button?
Hell, for that matter, where is my editor when I need him/her?
Re: Not in the air
Flying cars? Seriously?
Take a look around on your next commute. See how many people you can count who clearly cannot even properly handle driving in 2 dimensions. You really want to give them a third?
Re: Re: Not in the air
How much longer do you think we will be driving our own cars? Autoland exists today for aircraft. At some point we will be able to get into our ‘car’ and tell it a destination, and then watch a movie, or go to sleep.
It may not be in what’s left of my lifetime, and it depends on the NSA/FBI not putting 99% of us in jail, but it will happen.
Despite all of that, it was a bit tongue-in-cheek.
Re: Re: Not in the air
Agreed, but at least there is a hell of a lot more space in that 3rd dimension.
Re: Not in the air
Have you tried Solar Shingles?
Those floating turbines from the first article kinda remind me of the floating turbines in Big Hero 6…
and there are problems
I’m one of those unfortunates who have the infrasound problems. Fans, windmills, motors, generators drive me nuts. So it would be in the interest of everyone, to check out the very few studies of those things. The dutch knew of the problems from their early days, you would have thought the Germans were paying attention, to their placement, Near summer holiday parks? Sleep nearby? Scottish sources are saying vibrational forces causing early fatigue failures, icing problems, all popping up on blades and towers.
But where I’m from, it’s been cloudy for a week, about a honest hour of sunshine. Home systems would be okay, if you had a backup, that covered for the weeks of clouds,wind when you don’t need it, to protect us from the utility companies. An its got to pay off from day one, and easily paid for, that’s not impossible is it?
If they could actually let those things move right now then sooner or later we won’t have to deal with energy crisis in the future may be on other pollutions i guess.
Reliability is the main issue wind faces nowadays. Even solar power with it’s downtime during the dark hours and fluctuations when it gets cloudy can be more predictable since it will generate at least a minimum amount that can be counted on.
Some smart cookie with money oughta start up a free exercise spa, where all of the cycle machines are hooked up to flywheels in the basement and the excess generated power is pushed backwards through the grid to elicit a monthly paycheck FROM the power companies.
Get enough of them going in a franchise and you’d be pulling megabux per month and getting paid by the people who normally take your money, while helping the earth by lowering the community’s over-all electricity needs from the grid and helping everyone stay fit at the same time, for free.