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. 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


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2015 @ 5:48pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2015 @ 5:53pm

      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?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mason Wheeler, 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:24am

      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?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:39am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Blue Sweater (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 9:20am

        Re: Re: Not in the air

        Agreed, but at least there is a hell of a lot more space in that 3rd dimension.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous, 25 Jan 2015 @ 4:33pm

      Re: Not in the air

      Have you tried Solar Shingles?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Watchit (profile), 22 Jan 2015 @ 7:40pm

    Those floating turbines from the first article kinda remind me of the floating turbines in Big Hero 6...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jim, 22 Jan 2015 @ 8:54pm

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jayden Carter, 23 Jan 2015 @ 1:49am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 3:08am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 9:35pm

    silly ideas

    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.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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